An optical switch based on liquid crystal dielectric loaded surface plasmon polariton waveguides is proposed and theoretically analyzed. The infiltration of the plasmonic structure with a nematic liquid crystalline material serving as the dielectric loading is shown to allow for extensive electrical tuning of its waveguiding characteristics. Both the electrical switching and optical properties of the proposed waveguide are investigated in the context of designing a directional coupler optical switch, which is found to combine efficient voltage control, low power consumption, high extinction ratio, and relatively low insertion losses.

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