Abstract

Integrated optical power splitters are one of the fundamental building blocks in photonic integrated circuits. Conventional multimode interferometer-based power splitters are widely used as they have reasonable footprints and are easy to fabricate. However, it is challenging to realize arbitrary split ratios, especially for multi-outputs. In this Letter, an ultra-compact power splitter with a QR code-like nanostructure is designed by a nonlinear fast search method. The highly functional structure is composed of a number of freely designed square pixels with the size of 120×120  nm which could be either dielectric or air. The light waves are scattered by a number of etched squares with optimized locations, and the scattered waves superimpose at the outputs with the desired power ratio. We demonstrate 1×2 splitters with 1:1, 1:2, and 1:3 split ratios, and a 1×3 splitter with the ratio of 1:2:1. The footprint for all the devices is only 3.6×3.6  μm. Well-controlled split ratios are measured for all the cases. The measured transmission efficiencies of all the splitters are close to 80% over 30 nm wavelength range.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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