Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Three-dimensional integration of plasmonics and nanoelectronics


Optoelectronic integrated circuits can leverage the large bandwidth and low interconnect delay of optical communications. Developing a three-dimensional optoelectronic integrated circuit architecture could then provide increased integration density, improved operation speeds and decreased power consumption. However, the integration of photonics and electronics in 3D geometries is difficult due to conflicts in materials and fabrication methods. Plasmonics can help address the incompatibility of photonic and electronic circuits, but methods for the 3D integration of plasmonics and electronics on a single chip are limited. Here, we report a strategy for the three-dimensional integration of plasmonics and electronics using waveguide-fed slot antennas and carbon nanotube networks. Our low-temperature approach, which is compatible with complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) technology, is based on a metal engineering technique in which different metals with typical structures are used as different functional modules. Using this approach, we demonstrate a series of 3D integrated circuits including photovoltaic-type plasmonic unidirectional receivers, wavelength–polarization multiplexers, and receivers integrated with CMOS signal-processing circuits.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Three-dimensional integration of plasmonics and electronics.
Fig. 2: Photovoltaic-type plasmonic unidirectional receiver.
Fig. 3: Polarization response of the unidirectional receiver.
Fig. 4: Wavelength–polarization multiplexer.
Fig. 5: Integration of the plasmonic-enhanced detector with CNT CMOS signal-processing circuits.

Data availability

The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


  1. Waldrop, M. M. More than Moore. Nature 530, 145–147 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Sun, C. et al. Single-chip microprocessor that communicates directly using light. Nature 528, 534–538 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Aly, M. M. S. et al. Energy-efficient abundant-data computing: the N3XT 1000X. Computer 48, 24–33 (2015).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Shulaker, M. M. et al. Three-dimensional integration of nanotechnologies for computing and data storage on a single chip. Nature 547, 74–78 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bhattacharya, P. Semiconductor Optoelectronic Devices (Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1994).

  6. Kirchain, R. & Kimerling, L. A roadmap for nanophotonics. Nat. Photon. 1, 303–305 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Tchernycheva, M. et al. Integrated photonic platform based on InGaN/GaN nanowire emitters and detectors. Nano Lett. 14, 3515–3520 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Wada, K. A new approach of electronics and photonics convergence on Si CMOS platform: how to reduce device diversity of photonics for integration. Adv. Opt. Technol. 2008, 1–7 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Chaisakul, P. et al. Integrated germanium optical interconnects on silicon substrates. Nat. Photon. 8, 482–488 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Brongersma, M. L. & Shalaev, V. M. The case for plasmonics. Science 328, 440–441 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Ozbay, E. Plasmonics: merging photonics and electronics at nanoscale dimensions. Science 311, 189–193 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Sorger, V. J., Oulton, R. F., Ma, R.-M. & Zhang, X. Toward integrated plasmonic circuits. MRS Bull. 37, 728–738 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Avouris, P., Chen, J., Freitag, M., Perebeinos, V. & Tsang, J. C. Carbon nanotube optoelectronics. Phys. Status Solidi B 243, 3197–3203 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Avouris, P., Chen, Z. & Perebeinos, V. Carbon-based electronics. Nat. Nanotech. 2, 605–615 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Koppens, F. H. L. et al. Photodetectors based on graphene, other two-dimensional materials and hybrid systems. Nat. Nanotech. 9, 780–793 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Fiori, G. et al. Electronics based on two-dimensional materials. Nat. Nanotech. 9, 768 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Zakharko, Y. et al. Multispectral electroluminescence enhancement of single-walled carbon nanotubes coupled to periodic nanodisk arrays. Opt. Express 25, 18092–18106 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Ansell, D. et al. Hybrid graphene plasmonic waveguide modulators. Nat. Commun. 6, 8846 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Falk, A. L. et al. Near-field electrical detection of optical plasmons and single-plasmon sources. Nat. Phys. 5, 475–479 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Liu, Y., Zhang, J., Liu, H., Wang, S. & Peng, L.-M. Electrically driven monolithic subwavelength plasmonic interconnect circuits. Sci. Adv. 3, e1701456 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Liu, Y., Wang, S., Liu, H. & Peng, L.-M. Carbon nanotube-based three-dimensional monolithic optoelectronic integrated system. Nat. Commun. 8, 15649 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Maier, S. A. Plasmonics: Fundamentals and Applications (Springer Science & Business Media, Berlin, 2007).

  23. Steigerwald, J. M., Murarka, S. P. & Gutmann, R. J. Chemical Mechanical Planarization of Microelectronic Materials (Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, 2008).

  24. Liu, Y. et al. Van der Waals heterostructures and devices. Nat. Rev. Mater. 1, 16042 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Peng, L.-M., Zhang, Z. & Wang, S. Carbon nanotube electronics: recent advances. Mater. Today 17, 433–442 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Liu, Y. et al. Approaching the Schottky–Mott limit in van der Waals metal–semiconductor junctions. Nature 557, 696–700 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Zhang, J. et al. Resonant slot nanoantennas for surface plasmon radiation in optical frequency range. Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 241115 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Liu, Y., Wang, S. & Peng, L. M. Toward high-performance carbon nanotube photovoltaic devices. Adv. Energy Mater. 6, 1600522 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Liu, Y. et al. Room temperature broadband infrared carbon nanotube photodetector with high detectivity and stability. Adv. Optical Mater. 4, 238–245 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. López-Tejeira, F. et al. Efficient unidirectional nanoslit couplers for surface plasmons. Nat. Phys. 3, 324–328 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Lin, J. et al. Polarization-controlled tunable directional coupling of surface plasmon polaritons. Science 340, 331–334 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Yang, J. et al. Broadband surface plasmon polariton directional coupling via asymmetric optical slot nanoantenna pair. Nano Lett. 14, 704–709 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Qiu, C. et al. Scaling carbon nanotube complementary transistors to 5-nm gate lengths. Science 355, 271–276 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Wang, F. et al. High conversion efficiency carbon nanotube-based barrier-free bipolar-diode photodetector. ACS Nano 10, 9595–9601 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Yin, L. et al. Subwavelength focusing and guiding of surface plasmons. Nano Lett. 5, 1399–1402 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Baudrion, A.-L. et al. Coupling efficiency of light to surface plasmon polariton for single subwavelength holes in a gold film. Opt. Express 16, 3420–3429 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Neutens, P., Van Dorpe, P., De Vlaminck, I., Lagae, L. & Borghs, G. Electrical detection of confined gap plasmons in metal–insulator–metal waveguides. Nat. Photon. 3, 283–286 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Lerosey, G., Pile, D., Matheu, P., Bartal, G. & Zhang, X. Controlling the phase and amplitude of plasmon sources at a subwavelength scale. Nano Lett. 9, 327–331 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Saleh, B. E. A. & Teich, M. C. Fundamentals of Photonics (Wiley, New York, 1991).

  40. Balthasar Mueller, J. P., Leosson, K. & Capasso, F. Ultracompact metasurface in-line polarimeter. Optica 3, 42–47 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Drezet, A., Genet, C. & Ebbesen, T. W. Miniature plasmonic wave plates. Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 043902 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Ellenbogen, T., Seo, K. & Crozier, K. B. Chromatic plasmonic polarizers for active visible color filtering and polarimetry. Nano Lett. 12, 1026–1031 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Espinosa-Soria, A., Rodriguez-Fortuno, F. J., Griol, A. & Martinez, A. On-chip optimal stokes nanopolarimetry based on spin–orbit interaction of light. Nano Lett. 17, 3139–3144 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Lee, J. Band-gap renormalization in carbon nanotubes: origin of the ideal diode behavior in carbon nanotube p-n structures. Phys. Rev. B 75, 075409 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. He, Y. et al. Metal-film-assisted ultra-clean transfer of single-walled carbon nanotubes. Nano Res. 7, 981–989 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was financially supported by the National Key Research & Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YF0201902) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61621061, 11574011 and 91850104).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



Y.L. led and was involved in all aspects of the project, and performed all of the design, layout, fabrication, testing, simulation and data analysis. J.Z. and L.-M.P. advised on all parts of the project. L.M.P. was in charge of the project. All authors discussed the results and contributed to preparation of the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Yang Liu, Jiasen Zhang or Lian-Mao Peng.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Notes 1–16 and Supplementary Figures 1–14

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Liu, Y., Zhang, J. & Peng, LM. Three-dimensional integration of plasmonics and nanoelectronics. Nat Electron 1, 644–651 (2018).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing