1 May 2014 Optical power distributions through fractal routing
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Abstract
Several applications in integrated optics require an equal distribution of power from a single input port among many photonic components, whether they be projection components or sensors. One method of achieving such a system is through using progressively more tightly coupled evanescent couplers to route power from a single feeding line [1]. While very compact, this approach requires careful design and characterization of evanescent couplers, and is vulnerable to process variations as the ratio of coupling has a non-linear relation to the couplers’ gap size. Fractals, widely present in nature, are recursive objects where each section is geometrically similar to its parent. They find applications in various fields [2], including RF antenna design and feeding [3]. In this paper we propose to use the fractal approach for spreading power evenly over an area using micro-machined photonic waveguides. In the fractal routing demonstrated in this work, an 1×2 multimode interference (MMI) coupler splits the power at each fractal stage. This provides several advantages. First, only one power splitter design is needed. Second, MMI couplers are well known, and more robust to process tolerances than evanescent couplers [3]. Third, they are symmetrical, and therefore provide a theoretically perfect power distribution independent of the fractal depth. We therefore demonstrate that a fractal routing provides a way to evenly and efficiently distribute power over a large area.
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Roelof Jansen, Tom Claes, Pieter Neutens, Bert Du Bois, Philippe Helin, Simone Severi, Pol Van Dorpe, Paru Deshpande, Xavier Rottenberg, "Optical power distributions through fractal routing", Proc. SPIE 9133, Silicon Photonics and Photonic Integrated Circuits IV, 91331K (1 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2052486; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2052486
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