A coupled-mode formulation based on complex local modes is developed for tapered and longitudinally varying optical waveguides. Different from the conventional coupled-mode theory that requires integration over the entire spectrum of radiation modes, the new formulation treats the radiation fields via discrete complex modes similarly to the guided modes. Accuracy, convergence, and scope of validity for the solutions of the complex coupled-mode equations are investigated in detail for a typical single-mode waveguide taper. It is demonstrated that the complex coupled-mode theory has overcome the difficulties of the conventional theory in simulation of radiation field effects while preserving the simplicity and intuitiveness of this popular method.
© 2011 Optical Society of America
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