We propose and demonstrate an efficient coupler for compact mode conversion between a fiber and a submicrometer waveguide. The coupler is composed of high-index-contrast materials and is based on a short taper with a nanometer-sized tip. We show that the micrometer-long silicon-on-insulator-based nanotaper coupler is able to efficiently convert both the mode field profile and the effective index, with a total length as short as . We measure an enhancement of the coupling efficiency between an optical fiber and a waveguide by 1 order of magnitude due to the coupler.
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