Prof. Yuebing Zheng’s group from The University of Texas at Austin made significant achievement on plasmonics and published their work on Nano Letters.
Hybrid plasmon-waveguide modes (HPWMs), which are hybridization of surface plasmons with photonic-guided modes, have advantages of subwavelength light confinement, long-range propagation, high quality factor and low loss. The capability of active control of HPWMs can lead to reconfigurable nanophotonic devices and circuits of high performances. Herein, we demonstrate photoswitchable Rabi splitting in a new type of HPWMs. The HPWMs are based on hybrid systems of Al nanodisk arrays covered by PMMA thin films that are doped with photochromic molecules. We achieve the photoswitchable Rabi splitting in the HPWMs with a maximum splitting energy of 572 meV by controlling the photoisomerization of the molecules. As an initial demonstration of device applications, we harness the photoswitchable Rabi splitting to develop all-optical light modulators and optically rewritable waveguides at the nanoscale. This work will pave the way towards optically rewritable integrated nanophotonics.