Miniaturized Photonic and Microwave Integrated Circuits Based on Surface Plasmon Polaritons
Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) and microwave integrated circuits (MICs) have been widely studied, but both of them face the challenge of miniaturization. On one hand, the construction of photonic elements requires spaces proportional to wavelength, and on the other hand, electromagnetic compatibility issues make it challenging to reach high-density layouts for MICs. In this paper, we review the research advances of miniaturized PICs and MICs based on surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs). By introducing SPPs, miniaturized photonic elements at subwavelength scales are realized on PICs, which can be used for highly integrated interconnects, biosensors, and visible light wireless communications. For MICs, since the metals behave as perfect conductors rather than plasmonic materials at microwave frequencies, plasmonic metamaterials are proposed to support spoof SPPs. Spoof SPPs possess similar characteristics to SPPs and can be used to realize high-density channels on MICs. Moreover, combining the latest theoretical research on SPPs, future tendencies of SPP-based MICs are discussed as well, including further miniaturization, digitization, and systematization.