Efficient unidirectional launching of surface plasmons by a cascade asymmetric-groove structure†
Increasing the unidirectional launching efficiency of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) is crucial in plasmonics. Here, we demonstrate that this efficiency may be improved by cascading subwavelength unidirectional SPP launching units. A unidirectional SPP launching efficiency of at least 46% and an extinction ratio of 40 are experimentally demonstrated using a cascade asymmetric-groove structure. Meanwhile, the device is ultracompact, and has a lateral dimension of only 1.1 μm. The proposed structure also presents a broadband response and is easy to fabricate. This high-performance wavelength-scale unidirectional SPP launcher represents an important development in practical SPP sources.