8 October 2007 Tunable Mach-Zehnder interferometer in a two-dimensional photonic crystal with liquid crystal infiltration
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Abstract
A theoretical model of a tunable Mach-Zehnder interferometer (TMZI) constructed in a 2D photonic crystal is proposed. The 2D PhC consists of a square lattice of cylindric air holes in silicon. The TMZI includes two mirrors and two splitters. Lights propagate between them employing self-collimation effect. The two interferometer branches have different path lengths. Parts of the longer branch are infiltrated with a kind of liquid crystal (LC) whose ordinary and extraordinary refractive indices are 1.522 and 1.706, respectively. The transmission spectra at two MZI output ports are in the shape of sinusoidal curves and have a uniform peak spacing 0.0017c/a in the frequency range from 0.26c/a to 0.27c/a. When the effective refractive index neff of the liquid crystal is increased from 1.522 to 1.706, the peaks shift to the lower frequencies over 0.0017c/a while the peak spacing is almost kept unchanged. So this TMZI can work as a tunble power splitter or an optical switch. For the central operating wavelength around 1550nm, its dimensions are only about tens of microns. So this device may be applied to photonic integrated circuits.
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Xiyao Chen, Xinyong Dong, Juan Juan Hu, Ping Shum, Yufei Wang, Yishen Qiu, Guimin Lin, Hailian Hong, "Tunable Mach-Zehnder interferometer in a two-dimensional photonic crystal with liquid crystal infiltration", Proc. SPIE 6767, Photonic Crystals and Photonic Crystal Fibers for Sensing Applications III, 676709 (8 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.743165; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.743165
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