Efficient couplers for photonic crystal waveguides

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Optics Communications, 2006, 265 (1), pp. 207 - 219
Issue Date:
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We use two-dimensional simulations to study the design of tapers to provide efficient, low reflection coupling between a waveguide in a two-dimensional photonic crystal (PC) and free space. We find that, largely independent of the PC parameters, or of the length and width of the tapered region, the same type of concave, horn-shaped tapering profile is optimal for coupling from the waveguide into free space, and significantly out-performs the widely used linear taper. We also find that optimal tapers can radiate nearly Gaussian beams, and therefore they can also provide efficient coupling of Gaussian beams from free space into the PC waveguide. These properties are better exhibited by rod-type PCs with Ez polarization than by hole-type PCs with Hz polarization. This study of taper couplers exemplifies a design strategy for photonic circuits which optimizes positioning of the cylinders immediately surrounding the light path, and then builds the rest of the crystal structure around these cylinders. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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