We discuss design issues of devices which were proposed recently [Opt. Lett. 37 (2012) 3903] for terahertz (THz) control of the propagation of an optical waveguide mode. The mode propagates through a nonlinear dielectric material placed in a metallic nanoslit illuminated by THz radiation. The THz field in the slit is strongly localized and thus significantly enhanced, facilitating nonlinear interactions with the dielectric waveguide material. This enhancement can lead to notable changes in the refractive index of the waveguide. The closer the waveguide is to the slit walls, the higher the nonlinear effects are, but with the cost of increasing propagation losses due to parasitic coupling to surface plasmon polaritons at the metal interfaces. We analyze several optical waveguide configurations and define a figure of merit that allows us to design the optimal configuration. We find that designs with less overlap of the THz and optical fields but also with lower losses are better than designs where both these parameters are higher. The estimated terahertz field incident onto the metallic nanoslit required to manipulate the waveguide mode has reasonable values which can be achieved in practice.
Photonics and Nanostructures, 2013, Vol 11, Issue 4, p. 310-322
Nanoslit; Terahertz radiation; Field enhancement; Nonlinearity