Modal symmetry controlled second-harmonic generation by propagating plasmons
in: Nano Letters (2019)
A new concept for second-harmonic generation (SHG) in an optical nanocircuit is proposed. We demonstrate both theoretically and experimentally that the symmetry of an optical mode alone is su_cient to allow SHG even in centro-symmetric structures made of centro-symmetric material. The concept is realized using a plasmonic two-wire transmission-line (TWTL), which simultaneously supports a symmetric and an anti-symmetric mode. We first confirm that emission of second-harmonic light into the symmetric mode of the waveguide is symmetry-allowed when the fundamental excited waveguide modes are either purely symmetric or anti-symmetric. We further switch the emission into the anti-symmetric mode when a controlled mixture of the fundamental modes is excited simultaneously. Our results open up a new degree of freedom into the designs of nonlinear optical components, and should pave a new avenue towards multi-functional nanophotonic circuitry.