Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) guided at the interface between metal and dielectric medium have attracted a lot of interest due to strong confinement of energy well beyond the diffraction limit associated with conventional waveguide of only dielectric materials. In spite of the excellent optical property, SPP based applications have been severely limited because the oscillating electrons inside metal region cause considerable ohmic loss, thus resulting in trade-off limitation between field confinement and attenuation. In this dissertation, author presents several solutions to circumvent or mitigate the restriction by using unique guiding mechanisms: vertical metal stripe waveguide with asymmetric background media, hybrid plasmonic waveguide mixing the index-guiding effect by adding dielectric slab, and waveguide guided by plasmonic mode-gap effect. And author introduces and demonstrates existence of new SPP mode supported in V-shaped thin metal film waveguide, unlike previously reported studies. Especially the possibility for nonlinear applications is discussed in detail.
To effectively use the outstanding characteristics of SPP, author also devises smart structures for amorphous silicon based solar cell. The suggested solar cell shows considerable enhancement of absorption efficiency independent of the incident angle and polarization.
Most of investigations have been conducted by analytical and numerical simulations: the modal analysis of waveguides structures was performed using finite difference method (FDM) and finite element method (FEM) with the perfectly matched layer boundary condition, and solar cell performance analysis was performed by rigorous coupled wave analysis (RCWA).