An approach to couple free-space waves and non-resonant plasmons propagating along graphene strips is proposed based on the periodic modulation of the graphene strip width. The solution is technologically very simple, scalable in frequency, and provides customized coupling angle and intensity. Moreover, the coupling properties can be dynamically controlled at a fixed frequency via the graphene electrical field effect, enabling advanced and flexible plasmon excitation-detection strategies. We combine a previously derived scaling law for graphene strips with leaky-wave theory borrowed from microwaves to achieve rigorous and efficient modeling and design of the structure. In particular we analytically derive its dispersion, predict its coupling efficiency and radiated field structure, and design strip configurations able to fulfill specific coupling requirements. The proposed approach and developed methods are essential to the recent and fundamental problem of the excitation-detection of non-resonant plasmons propagating along a continuous graphene strip, and could pave the way to smart all-graphene sensors and transceivers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics