Abstract

Using the generalized multiparticle Mie theory, we investigate optical coupling and transport through chains of dielectric microspheres. We identify two distinct coupling mechanisms of optical transport in terms of the coupling efficiency between neighboring microspheres, namely, evanescent coupling and nanojet coupling. We demonstrate that perfect whispering gallery mode propagation through a chain of evanescently coupled microspheres can be achieved. However, optical coupling and transport through a chain of nanojet-inducing microspheres is less efficient due to the radiative nature of photonic nanojets. Understanding these two optical coupling mechanisms is critical for selecting appropriate microspheres to build coupled resonator optical waveguides and other photon-manipulation devices for effective and low-loss guiding of photons.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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