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Silicon photonic Bragg-grating couplers for optical communications

Publication Type:

Conference Proceedings


Proc. SPIE, Photonics West (2014)


We discuss recent progress and challenges in realizing Bragg-grating devices on the submicron silicon-on-insulator platform for next-generation optical communications applications, such as on-chip optical interconnects and signal processing. In particular, we focus on grating-assisted, wavelength-selective couplers, known as contra-directional couplers (contra-DCs). In contrast to conventional two-port Bragg gratings operating in the reflection mode, contra-DCs are four-port devices with very weak backreflections and, therefore, can be easily integrated with other photonic components on a chip. In order to provide a reliable on-chip wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) solution for high-speed optical interconnects, we have developed high-performance add-drop filters and, furthermore, wavelength multiplexers/demultiplexers with combined advantages of flat-top responses, low insertion loss (< 1 dB), and low crosstalk (< -23 dB). These WDM devices are ultra-compact and highly tolerant to temperature fluctuations (up to ± 50 0C), showing great potential for large-scale integration and low-power consumption. We further discuss a novel four-port Bragg photonic resonator for high-speed, low-power optical switching. By a coupler-chirped design with uniform Bragg gratings, we have recently achieved an on-chip, continuously tunable photonic delay line with low insertion loss. These system-orientated devices indicate great potential for large-scale integration of Bragg-grating-defined functions using CMOS-compatible silicon photonics technology.

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Research Area(s): 
Photonics and Optics