Electric current induced unidirectional propagation of surface plasmon-polaritons.
Nonreciprocity and one-way propagation of optical signals is crucial for modern nanophotonic technology, and is typically achieved using magneto-optical effects requiring large magnetic biases. Here we suggest a fundamentally novel approach to achieve unidirectional propagation of surface plasmon-polaritons (SPPs) at metal-dielectric interfaces. We employ a direct electric current in metals, which produces a Doppler frequency shift of SPPs due to the uniform drift of electrons. This tilts the SPP dispersion, enabling one-way propagation, as well as zero and negative group velocities. The results are demonstrated for planar interfaces and cylindrical nanowire waveguides.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1712.00291