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Nano-opto-electro-mechanical switches operated at CMOS-level voltages



Christian Haffner, Andreas Joerg, Michael Doderer, Daniel Chelladurai, Felix Mayor, Comsin Ioan Roman, Yuriy Fedoryshyn, Mikael Mazur, Maurizio Burla, Henri J. Lezec, Vladimir A. Aksyuk, Juerg Leuthold


Reprogrammable optical networks that operate in symbiosis with CMOS electronics promise to advance technologies such as optical neural networks. However, current electro-optical switching technologies fail to combine CMOS-voltages, micrometer-scale footprints, nanosecond switching and minimal optical losses. Here, we demonstrate a strategy that meets these metrics by utilizing opto-electro-mechanical effects in micrometer-scale hybrid-photonic-plasmonic structures to provide a full switching capability under CMOS voltages and 0.1 dB optical losses. This strategy uniquely benefits from a strong opto-electro-mechanical effect GEOM ≈ 1.25 THz/V (VL ≈ 26Vm) enabled by the plasmonic confinement of light to the location of mechanical actuation, while we manage to keep the Ohmic propagation losses below ≤ 0.02dB/m. Furthermore, the nanometer-scale skin depth in plasmonic metals, allows to reduce the actuation to a 40 nm thin gold foil of low mass resulting in nanosecond-scale switching. Our work demonstrates the feasibility of an electrically reprogrammable optical network based on plasmonic that outperform traditional photonics even in applications where optical losses are of upper most importance.
Science Magazine
Created November 15, 2019, Updated January 13, 2020