Abstract

Optical phased arrays based on optical waveguides are compelling components enabling efficient and accurate beam steering. However, to avoid crosstalk between the waveguides, the element pitch is typically larger than one wavelength, which gives rise to grating lobes in real space. In this Letter, we report that near-wavelength gratings can be employed to suppress the grating lobes by utilizing the angular low-pass-filter characteristics. The properly designed near-wavelength grating acts as an angle-sensitive transmission structure. Nearly 100% transmissivity can be realized at small incident angles. However, it quickly declines to a low level when the incident angle is over the critical one. Then, a simple line current array is utilized to demonstrate the grating lobe suppression effect with the grating designed for TE-polarized incidence. Finally, we demonstrate that by loading the proposed grating designed for TM-polarized incidence upon a waveguide grating array with a 2.4 µm pitch, a grating lobe suppression of 10 dB can be achieved when scanning up to $\pm {14}^\circ$.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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