Abstract

Planar photonic integrated circuits based on four-port couplers offer enhanced sophistication and functionality. Each four-port coupler is characterized by sixteen signal coupling coefficients governed by ten energy constraints. The ability to generate the constrained sixteen coupling coefficients is needed in the analysis of the four-port coupler. However, the energy constraint equations are nonlinear and cumbersome to solve directly. We introduce two techniques to reduce these signal coupling coefficients to a set of six free parameters. Hence we can characterize all possible couplers in terms of their sixteen constrained coupling coefficients, or either of two sets of six free parameters. This reduction in parameters has significant ramifications for the design, specification, and empirical characterization of these useful building blocks.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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