A compact and versatile source of coherent surface-plasmon polaritions (SPPs) is demonstrated by end-coupling a laser diode operating at 1.46 microm to a plasmonic waveguide integrated on the same microchip. With an optimized overlap between the spatial-modes of the laser and a planar-stripe waveguide, a high coupling efficiency of approximately 36% is achieved, that computations show could approach approximately 60% with smaller, readily achievable gaps between laser and waveguide. This integrated and electrically-activated source, with an available SPP power limited only by the laser diode, appears ideally suited for directly driving plasmonic circuitry or surface-enhanced sensors.
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