Novel designs for phased-array wavelength-division multiplexers based on self-imaging properties of multimode interference (MMI) couplers are presented. These devices, which operate on N equally spaced wavelength channels, consist of two MMI couplers connected by an array of N monomode waveguides. The MMI couplers function as power splitters/combiners, and the waveguide array is the dispersive element. The excellent characteristics of MMI couplers offer the possibility of designing small-size devices with low loss and with high uniformity among different channels. A general theoretical formulation for an N-channel multiplexer is presented, and a simple procedure for finding an optimum set of lengths for the array guides is given. We show that these multiplexers can function as N × N wavelength-selective interconnecting components. The simulated performance of three variations of a five-channel device, designed in a rib waveguide system, is given. It is demonstrated that sidelobes in the multiplexer spectral response can be suppressed by weighting the power samples in the array waveguides through appropriate design of a nonuniform MMI power splitter.
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