Frontiers of Physics

, 13:134207 | Cite as

All-dielectric bowtie waveguide with deep subwavelength mode confinement

  • Wen-Cheng Yue
  • Pei-Jun YaoEmail author
  • Li-Xin Xu
  • Hai Ming
Research Article


Plasmonic waveguides and conventional dielectric waveguides have favorable characteristics in photonic integrated circuits. Typically, plasmonic waveguides can provide subwavelength mode confinement, as shown by their small mode area, whereas conventional dielectric waveguides guide light with low loss, as shown by their long propagation length. However, the simultaneous achievement of subwavelength mode confinement and low-loss propagation remains limited. In this paper, we propose a novel design of an alldielectric bowtie waveguide, which simultaneously exhibits both subwavelength mode confinement and theoretically lossless propagation. Contrary to traditional dielectric waveguides, where the guidance of light is based on total internal reflection, the principle of the all-dielectric bowtie waveguide is based on the combined use of the conservation of the normal component of the electric displacement and the tangential component of the electric field, such that it can achieve a mode area comparable to its plasmonic counterparts. The mode distribution in the all-dielectric bowtie waveguide can be precisely controlled by manipulating the geometric design. Our work shows that it is possible to achieve extreme light confinement by using dielectric instead of lossy metals.


dielectric waveguide nanophotonics plasmonics photonic integrated circuits silicon 



This work was supported by the National Key Basic Research Program of China under Grant No. 2012CB922003, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under Grant No. 61177053, and Anhui Provincial Natural Science Foundation under Grant No. 1508085SMA205.


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wen-Cheng Yue
    • 1
  • Pei-Jun Yao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Li-Xin Xu
    • 1
  • Hai Ming
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Optics and Optical EngineeringUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina

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