We present a systematic design of coupled-resonator optical waveguides (CROWs) based on high-Q tapered grating-defect resonators. The formalism is based on coupled-mode theory where forward and backward waveguide modes are coupled by the grating. Although applied to strong gratings (periodic air holes in single-mode silicon-on-insulator waveguides), coupled-mode theory is shown to be valid, since the spatial Fourier transform of the resonant mode is engineered to minimize the coupling to radiation modes and thus the propagation loss. We demonstrate the numerical characterization of strong gratings, the design of high-Q tapered grating-defect resonators (Q>2 × 106, modal volume = 0.38·(λ/n)3), and the control of inter-resonator coupling for CROWs. Furthermore, we design Butterworth and Bessel filters by tailoring the numbers of holes between adjacent defects. We show with numerical simulation that Butterworth CROWs are more tolerant against fabrication disorder than CROWs with uniform coupling coefficient.
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