Efficient coupling of light from a chip into an optical fiber is a major issue in silicon photonics, as the dimensions of high-index-contrast photonic integrated waveguides are much smaller than conventional fiber diameters. Surface grating couplers address the coupling problem by radiating the optical power from a waveguide through the surface of the chip to the optical fiber, or vice versa. However, since the grating radiation angle substantially varies with the wavelength, conventional surface grating couplers cannot offer high coupling efficiency and broad bandwidth simultaneously. To overcome this limitation, for the near-infrared band we have recently proposed SOI-based zero-order grating couplers, which, making use of a subwavelength-engineered waveguide and a high-index prism, suppress the explicit dependence between the radiation angle and the wavelength, achieving a 1-dB bandwidth of 126 nm at λ = 1.55 μm. However, in the near-infrared, the bandwidth enhancement of zero-order grating couplers is limited by the effective index wavelength dispersion of the grating. In the mid-infrared spectral region, the waveguide dispersion is lower, alleviating the bandwidth limitation. Here we demonstrate numerically our zero-order grating coupler concept in the mid-infrared at λ = 3.8 μm. Several couplers for the silicon-on-insulator and the germanium-on-silicon nitride platforms are designed and compared, with subdecibel coupling efficiencies and 1-dB bandwidths up to ~680 nm.
Alejandro Sánchez-Postigo, J. Gonzalo Wangüemert-Pérez, José Manuel Luque-González, Íñigo Molina-Fernández, Pavel Cheben, Carlos A. Alonso-Ramos, Robert Halir, Jens H. Schmid, and Alejandro Ortega-Moñux, "Broadband high-efficiency zero-order surface grating coupler for the near- and mid-infrared wavelength ranges," Proc. SPIE 10242, Integrated Optics: Physics and Simulations III, 102420E (Presented at SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics: April 24, 2017; Published: 17 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2265732.
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