Characterizations of realized metal-insulator-silicon-insulator-metal waveguides and nanochannel fabrication via insulator removal
We investigate experimentally metal-insulator-silicon-insulator-metal (MISIM) waveguides that are fabricated by using fully standard CMOS technology. They are hybrid plasmonic waveguides, and they have a feature that their insulator is replaceable with functional material. We explain a fabrication process for them and discuss fabrication results based on 8-inch silicon-on-insulator wafers. We measured the propagation characteristics of the MISIM waveguides that were actually fabricated to be connected to Si photonic waveguides through symmetric and asymmetric couplers. When incident light from an optical source has transverse electric (TE) polarization and its wavelength is 1318 or 1554 nm, their propagation losses are between 0.2 and 0.3 dB/μm. Excess losses due to the symmetric couplers are around 0.5 dB, which are smaller than those due to the asymmetric couplers. Additional measurement results indicate that the MISIM waveguide supports a TE-polarized hybrid plasmonic mode. Finally, we explain a process of removing the insulator without affecting the remaining MISIM structure to fabricate ~30-nm-wide nanochannels which may be filled with functional material.