On-Chip Detection of Optical Spin–Orbit Interactions in Plasmonic Nanocircuits

Martin Thomaschewski*, Yuanqing Yang, Christian Wolff, Alexander Sylvester Roberts, Sergey I. Bozhevolnyi

*Corresponding author for this work

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On-chip manipulating and controlling the temporal and spatial evolution of light are of crucial importance for information processing in future planar integrated nanophotonics. The spin and orbital angular momentum of light, which can be treated independently in classical macroscopic geometrical optics, appear to be coupled on subwavelength scales. We use spin–orbit interactions in a plasmonic achiral nanocoupler to unidirectionally excite surface plasmon polariton modes propagating in seamlessly integrated plasmonic slot waveguides. The spin-dependent flow of light in the proposed nanophotonic circuit allows on-chip electrical detection of the spin state of incident photons by integrating two germanium-based plasmonic-waveguide photodetectors. Consequently, our device serves as a compact (∼6 × 18 μm2) electrical sensor for photonic spin Hall dynamics. The demonstrated configuration opens new avenues for developing highly integrated polarization-controlled optical devices that would exploit the spin-degree of freedom for manipulating and controlling subwavelength optical modes in nanophotonic systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNano Letters
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1166-1171
Number of pages117
Publication statusPublished - 13. Feb 2019



  • Surface plasmon polaritons
  • photodetection
  • photonic spin Hall effect
  • slot waveguides
  • spin-orbit interaction

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