Losses in plasmonics: strategies to bypass, mitigate or - if nothing else works - embrace them
Losses in plasmonics: strategies to bypass, mitigate or – if nothing else works – embrace them
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Unlike conventional optics, plasmonics enables unrivalled high concentration of optical energy well beyond the diffraction limit. However, a significant part of this energy is dissipated as heat. Plasmonic losses present a major hurdle in the development of plasmonic devices and circuits that can compete with other mature technologies. They have largely kept the use of plasmonics to a few niche areas where loss is not a key factor, such as surface enhanced Raman scattering and biochemical sensing. However, sensing applications could also significantly benefit from improvements in spectral selectivity of plasmonic sensors, which is hindered by the plasmonic modes broadening due to dissipative and scattering losses.


In this webinar presented by the OSA Nanophotonics Technical Group, Dr. Svetlana Boriskina from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will describe three viable approaches to mitigate plasmonic losses, which go beyond the efforts to compensate losses with optical gain or to synthesize better plasmonic materials. The first approach is based on modifying the optical powerflow through plasmonic devices such that the optical energy circulates through the inter-particle gaps rather than through metal volume. This can be achieved – somewhat counter-intuitively – by engineering destructive interference of plasmonic near-fields to create points of topological darkness in plasmonic nanocircuits, which give rise to areas of circulating optical powerflow – optical vortices. Dr. Boriskina will show how recycling optical energy through optical vortices pinned to plasmonic nanostructures enables light trapping outside the metal volume, which reduces losses and yields ultra-narrow plasmonic resonances.


Another promising strategy to reduce and mitigate plasmonic losses is based on the development of hybrid photonic-plasmonic devices and networks by coupling plasmonic nanostructures to optical microresonators and waveguides. Dr. Boriskina will discuss how hybrid integration not only helps to reduce dissipative losses and to develop sensors with simultaneously high spectral and spatial resolution, but also makes possible to achieve non-contact radiative cooling of plasmonic devices. Finally, Dr. Boriskina will outline the emerging applications of plasmonics for thermal emission manipulation, solar vapor generation and heat-assisted magnetic recording, which offer a strategy to leverage Ohmic losses in metals to obtain devices with new enhanced functionalities.


What You Will Learn/Seminar Objectives:

  • Approaches to reduce plasmonic losses, such as modification of optical powerflow on the nanoscale, hybrid photonic-plasmonic integration, and radiative cooling.
  • Overview of emerging applications of thermal plasmonics.


Who Should Attend:

  • Graduate students, postdocs and researchers interested in plasmonic devices with reduced losses and new functionalities.
  • Anyone with interest in thermal plasmonic devices, such as HAMR, solar vapor generation, and plasmonic thermal emission.
  • Nanophotonic scientists and engineers working on the development of plasmonic devices and nanocircuits.



  • The level of the webinar is intermediate. The fundamental concepts will be explained. However, a basic knowledge of plasmonics, nanophotonics, and materials science is assumed.


Seminar Information
Seminar Date:
May 09, 2016