A low-loss molybdenum plasmonic waveguide: perfect single-crystal preparation and subwavelength grating optimization

Tao Cui, Yan Shen, Ao Cheng, Runze Zhan, Zebo Zheng, Bo Tian, Jia Shi, Yanlin Ke, Lei Shao, Huanjun Chen and Shaozhi Deng

Nanophotonics 12, 22 (2023)
Plasmonic waveguides have attracted tremendous interest due to efficiently confining photons on the subwavelength spatial scale to be beating the propagation diffraction limit. Transition metal molybdenum (Mo) exhibits outstanding properties in light trapping and electromagnetic field confining, making it potentially valuable in 1.55 μm plasmonic waveguide applications. However, the reliable fabrication of high-quality Mo plasmonic waveguides is a significant challenge. A real-space micro-imaging study of the surface plasmon on Mo structures is still absent. In this study, we successfully prepared a single-crystalline Mo microrod waveguide structure and fabricated subwavelength gratings on it. The diffraction gratings were designed, optimized, and etched to excite the surface plasmon polariton behaviour of Mo for the first time. The grating-optimized Mo microrod single-crystal reveals highly efficient waveguide performance around near-infrared spectroscopy, exhibiting a long propagation length of 32 μm and a low transmission loss of 0.067 dB μm−1. The results provide an alternative to advanced materials research and optical device applications of plasmonic waveguide systems.