Numerical analysis of an infrared gas sensor utilizing an indium-tin-oxide-based plasmonic slot waveguide
Sprache des Titels:
Plasmonic waveguides have attracted much attention owing to the associated high field intensity at the metal?dielectric interface and their ability to confine the modes at the nanometer scale. At the same time, they suffer from relatively high propagation loss, which is due to the presence of metal. Several alternative materials have been introduced to replace noble metals, such as transparent conductive oxides (TCOs). A particularly popular TCO is indium tin oxide (ITO), which is compatible with standard microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology. In this work, the feasibility of ITO as an alternative plasmonic material is investigated for infrared absorption sensing applications: we numerically design and optimize an ITO-based plasmonic slot waveguide for a wavelength of 4.26 ?m, which is the absorption line of CO2. Our optimization is based on a figure of merit (FOM), which is defined as the confinement factor divided by the imaginary part of the effective mode index (i.e., the intrinsic damping of the mode). The obtained optimal FOM is 3.2, which corresponds to 9 ?m and 49% for the propagation length (characterizing the intrinsic damping) and the confinement factor, respectively.