The large transparency window of silicon (1.1 - 8 µm wavelength range) makes it a promising material for the implementation of a wide range of applications, including datacom, nonlinear and quantum optics, or sensing in the near- and mid-infrared wavelength ranges. However, the implementation of the silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform in the mid-infrared is restricted by the absorption of buried oxide layer for wavelengths above 4 µm. A promising solution is to combine silicon membranes and subwavelength nanostructuration to locally remove the buried oxide layer, thus allowing access to the full transparency window of silicon. Additionally, structuring silicon with features smaller than half of the wavelength releases new degrees of freedom to tailor material properties, allowing the realization of innovative high-performance Si devices.
Implementing Si membrane waveguides providing simultaneous single-mode operation at both near-infrared and mid-infrared wavelengths is cumbersome. Due to the high index contrast between Si and air cladding, conventional strip waveguides with cross-sections large enough to guide a mode in the mid-infrared are multi-mode in the near-infrared. Here, we exploit periodic corrugation to engineer light propagation properties of Si membrane waveguides allowing effective single-mode operation in near- and mid-IR. Single-mode propagation in the mid-IR is allowed by choosing a 500-nm-thick and 1100-nm-wide silicon waveguide. A novel waveguide corrugation approach radiates out the higher order modes in the near-IR, resulting in an effectively single-mode operation in near-IR. Based on this concept, we demonstrated Bragg filters with 4 nm bandwidth and 40 dB rejection.