The double-periodic Si photonic crystal waveguide radiates guided slow light into free space as an optical beam. It also functions as a beam steering device, in which the steering angle is changed widely by the slight wavelength variant thanks to the large dispersion of slow light. A similar function is obtainable when the wavelength is fixed and the refractive index of the waveguide is changed. In this study, we integrated two kinds of heater structures in the waveguide and demonstrated the beam steering by the thermo-optic effect. For a p-i-p doped heater structure, we implanted a p-type dopant except around the waveguide core, and observed a beam steering angle Δθ = 26°, which is close to a theoretical value, with a relatively low heating power P = 1.6 W and high-speed response of 100 kHz order. However, the beam divergence increased up to δθ = 5°, which seemed to reflect the temperature nonuniformity in the Si slab. On the other hand, for the TiN heaters placed away from the waveguide core, we obtained a comparable steering angle with a narrower beam divergence of δθ < 0.3°. However, the required heating power was as large as P = 4.8 W, and the response speed was slow, reflecting its low heating efficiency and large heat capacity. We expect these problems to be solved by homogenizing the current and temperature distributions for the former and by optimizing the positioning of the heaters for the latter.
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