Abstract

Inverse-designed free-form nanophotonic structures have shown great potential in designing ultra-compact integrated photonic devices, but strict fabrication requirements may hinder further applications. We propose here a photonic-crystal-like (PhC-like) subwavelength structure, which is insensitive to the lag effect that is the most common fabrication error. A colorless 3 dB coupler employing such a structure is designed, fabricated, and characterized. With only one-step etching, the coupling region of our final device occupies a compact footprint of 2.72×2.72  μm. The simulated insertion loss of each output port is about 3.2 dB over 100 nm bandwidth around 1550 nm, and the measured insertion losses of both ports are 3.35 dB, on average, over the observable 60 nm bandwidth with a near zero loss imbalance.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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