Abstract

We analyze the polarization-dependent performance and the loss performance of volume grating couplers using a leaky-mode approach in conjunction with rigorous coupled-wave analysis for two configurations: the volume grating in the cover layer and the volume grating in the waveguide. The angular dependence of TE and TM polarization coupling efficiency is studied, and designs for polarization-dependent and polarization-independent couplers are presented for both configurations. Polarization-dependent couplers are obtained with an outcoupling angle close to normal. Polarization-independent couplers are obtained with outcoupling angles away from normal, 46.7 deg in the case of a volume grating in the cover layer and 54.4 deg in the case of a volume grating in the waveguide. The effect of loss on coupler performance is also analyzed. It is found that, for cases of practical importance, the effect of lossy coupler materials is small. The estimated loss for a commercially available material is 5 dB/cm. For TE-polarized light and the volume grating in the waveguide, a loss of this magnitude reduces the coupling efficiency by less than 3%, whereas in the case of the volume grating in the cover layer, it reduces the coupling efficiency by less than 0.3%.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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