Mode matching interface for efficient coupling of light into planar photonic crystals

Mode matching interface for efficient coupling of light into planar photonic crystals

Photonic crystal with a compact mode matching interface (left) and randomized photonic crystal lattice for light extraction (right).

Abstract:
In order to integrate superdispersive elements based on photonic crystals, such as the superprism, with conventional integrated optics, insertion losses at the interface to the photonic crystal need to be reduced to an acceptable level. We describe a mode matching interface composed of cascaded diffraction gratings that generates the field profile of the photonic crystal Bloch mode from a slab mode. We calculate with three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain computation that by interposing such a multilayered grating between an unpatterned slab and a planar photonic crystal, the insertion efficiency is enhanced from 9% to 84%. Each diffraction grating consists of a row of holes and does not require any additional process steps from those used to fabricate the planar photonic crystal. In order to optimize the efficiency of the mode matching interface, constructive interference conditions are imposed between successive gratings and reflections from individual gratings are suppressed. We fabricate devices in silicon on insulator material and show experimental evidence of the Bloch mode structure and of the mode matching mechanism.
J. Witzens, M. Hochberg, T. Baehr-Jones, and A. Scherer, Mode matching interface for efficient coupling of light into planar photonic crystals, Phys. Rev. E 69, 046609 1-12 (2004).