A theory of waveguide design for plasmonic nanolasers†
We propose a theory for the waveguide design and analysis for plasmonic nanolasers by reformulating the fundamental waveguide requirements. This theory does not rely on further optimizing previously used structures, but examines each possible design without prejudice. Our exploration of one-dimensional (i.e., layered) plasmonic nanowaveguide geometries and the subsequent extension to 2D structures not only provides a deep understanding of the characteristics of currently used designs, but also leads to superior structures with the potential to address long-standing challenges in plasmonic nanolasers. In addition, we discover analogies between the reformulated fundamental requirements for the waveguide for nanolasers and nanoscale four-wave mixing (FWM) devices. Therefore, after a slight modification, our theory can also be applied to the waveguide design for plasmonic FWM devices.