We propose a tunable directional coupler based on a two-dimensional photonic crystal made of dielectric elastomer rods embedded in air background. In the interaction region, the inclusions are a dielectric elastomer cylindrical actuator made of a hollow cylinder sandwiched between two compliant electrodes. By applying a voltage between the compliant electrodes, the radial strain of the silicon-made actuator and the coupling characteristics of the photonic crystal coupler are investigated. The coupling length of the photonic crystal coupler depends on the voltage applied between the electrodes, which is analyzed by the plane wave expansion method. Due to the radial strain of the dielectric elastomer under external voltage, the tunable photonic crystal coupler is realized. Numerical simulations obtained by the finite-difference time-domain method confirmed the feasibility of the tunable photonic crystal coupler.
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