Abstract

We revisit the problem of the optimization of a silicon-nanocrystal (Si-NC) waveguide, aiming to attain the maximum field confinement inside its nonlinear core and to ensure optimal waveguide performance for a given mode power. Using a Si-NC/SiO2 slot waveguide as an example, we show that the common definition of the effective mode area may lead to significant errors in estimation of optical intensity governing the nonlinear optical response and, as a result, to poor strength evaluation of the associated nonlinear effects. A simple and physically meaningful definition of the effective mode area is given to relate the total mode power to the average field intensity inside the nonlinear region and is employed to study the optimal parameters of Si-NC slot waveguides.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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