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5 March 2021 Performance of an a-Si:H MMI multichannel beam splitter analyzed by computer simulation
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Optical power splitters are widely used in many applications and different typologies have been developed for devices dedicated to this function. Among them, the multimode interference design is especially attractive for its simplicity and performance making it a strong candidate for low-cost applications, such as photonics lab-on-chips for biomedical point of care systems. Within this context, splitting the optical beam equally into multiple channels is of fundamental importance to provide reference arms, parallel sensing of different biomarkers and allowing multiplexed reading schemes. From a theoretical point of view, the multimode structure allows implementation of the power splitting function for an arbitrary number of channels, but in practice its performance is limited by lithographic mask imperfections and waveguide width. In this work we analyze multimode waveguide structures, based on amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) over insulator (SiO2), which can be produced by the PECVD deposition technique. The study compares the performance of several 1 to N designs optimized to provide division of the fundamental quasi-TM mode as a function of input polarization and lithographic roughness. The performance is analyzed in terms of output power uniformity and attenuation and is based on numerical simulations using the Beam Propagation Method and Eigenmode Expansion Propagation Methods.
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João Costa, Daniel Almeida, Alessandro Fantoni, Paulo Lourenço, Miguel Fernandes, and Manuela Vieira "Performance of an a-Si:H MMI multichannel beam splitter analyzed by computer simulation", Proc. SPIE 11691, Silicon Photonics XVI, 1169106 (5 March 2021);

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