Intermodal dispersion between the supermodes of a directional coupler may induce undesirable pulse breakup in a sufficiently large device. When this happens the device will no longer exchange power between its arms, and the extinction ratio is completely canceled. It is shown that, by carefully designing the coupling area of the directional coupler, one may compensate for intermodal dispersion. The compensating device should accomplish three basic requirements: inverse intermodal dispersion, balanced coupling of each supermode, and maximum power transfer while preserving the sign of the slope of the coupling coefficient with frequency for multiplexing–demultiplexing applications. This structure is designed and optimized with a genetic algorithm.
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