Abstract

A novel compact silicon-on-insulator- (SOI-)based multimode interference (MMI) coupler with bilevel taper structures was designed. The MMI section and the S-bend sections of the input–output waveguides are deeply etched. The input–output waveguides connecting to single-mode fibers or other photonic light circuits are etched shallowly to yield single-mode operation. A bilevel taper is introduced in the transition region between the shallowly and deeply etched regions. It is predicted theoretically that this design will not only improve the quality of the self-imaging in the MMI section but will also make the structure compact. Both the excess loss and the nonuniformity of the MMI coupler are reduced. By use of a three-dimensional beam propagation method, the performance of a 1 × 4 MMI coupler based on a SOI is simulated as a numerical example of the novel design. The simulated nonuniformity and the excess loss are approximately 0.0285 and 0.2 dB, respectively.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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