Abstract

A general silicon mode-converter waveguide that converts a fundamental mode to any higher-order mode is proposed. Specifically, dielectric substrip waveguides are inserted in the fundamental mode propagation path so that the conversion is done directly in the same propagation waveguide, without coupling the power into another waveguide as it happens in traditional mode converters. The device has a very small footprint compared to traditional converters. A mathematical model is developed to determine the design parameters of the used dielectric material and analyze the whole performance of the proposed device. Both the effective index method (EIM) and the perturbative mode-coupled theory are used in our mathematical analysis to get exact values for both the coupling coefficient and the length of the used dielectric material, so as to ensure a maximum coupled power transfer to the higher-order mode. In addition, full vectorial 3D-FDTD simulations are performed to validate our mathematical model. Our results show good agreement between the approximate EIM method and accurate full vectorial 3D-finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations in characterizing the device parameters and performance. In order to validate the design model, two mode converters are simulated, fabricated, and tested for converting a fundamental TE0 mode into both first- and second-order (TE1 and TE2) modes, respectively. Good insertion losses and low crosstalks are obtained. Good agreement between simulated and fabricated results are achieved.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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