Modeling and Design of Realistic Si3N4-based Integrated Optical Programmable Power Splitter

H.P. Uranus, Hugo Hoekstra, Remco Stoffer

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    Controllable splitting of optical power with a large splitting ratio range is often required in an integrated optical chip, e.g. for the readout of phase-shift in a slow-light sensor. In this work, we report the modeling and design of an integrated optical programmable power splitter consisting of a Y-junction with a programmable phase-shifter cascaded to a directional coupler. We used a vectorial mode solver, and a combination of a transfer matrix method with a 3D vectorial coupled-mode theory (CMT) to compute the power transfer ratio of a realistic device structure made of Si3N4, TEOS, and SiO2 grown on a Si substrate. In the simulations, waveguide attenuation values derived from the measured attenuation of a prefabricated test wafer, have been taken into account. Vectorial modal fields of individual waveguides, as computed by a mode solver, were used as the basis for the CMT computation. In the simulation, an operational wavelength around 632.8 nm was assumed. Our simulations reveal that maximum power splitting ratio can be achieved when the directional coupler is operated as a 3-dB coupler with the phase-shifter set to produce a 90° phase-shift. The required coupler length for such desired operating condition is highly-dependent on the gap size. On the other hand, the inclusion of the waveguide loss and the non-parallel section of the directional coupler into the model only slightly affect the results.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)255-268
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of nonlinear optical physics & materials
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


    • EWI-19091
    • Directional coupler
    • IR-75619
    • Power splitter
    • transfer matrix method
    • METIS-276735
    • Coupled mode theory

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