We present our recent progress on the design, fabrication and characterization
of metamaterials that can be used as basic building blocks for "free space on a
chip" nanophotonic system integration. These devices are realized by
fabricating nanostructures with space variant duty cycle on Silicon on insulator
(SOI) material platform. The devices are characterized with Heterodyne Nearfield
Scanning Optical Microscope that allows a direct measurement of both
amplitude and phase of the near field. Using the described concept, we show
specific examples of light bending, focusing and splitting. A design for mode
matching between two different waveguides is also shown.
Optical technology plays an increasingly important role in numerous applications areas, including communications, information processing, and data storage. However, as optical technology develops, it is evident that there is a growing need to develop reliable photonic integration technologies. This will include the development of passive as well as active optical components that can be integrated into functional optical circuits and systems, including filters, switching fabrics that can be controlled either electrically or optically, optical sources, detectors, amplifiers, etc. We explore the unique capabilities and advantages of nanotechnology in developing next generation integrated photonic chips. Our long-range goal is to develop a range of photonic nanostructures including artificially birefringent and resonant devices, photonic crystals, and photonic crystals with defects to tailor spectral filters, and nanostructures for spatial field localization to enhance optical nonlinearities, to facilitate on-chip system integration through compatible materials and fabrication processes. The design of artificial nanostructured materials, PCs and integrated photonic systems is one of the most challenging tasks as it not only involves the accurate solution of electromagnetic optics equations, but also the need to incorporate the material and quantum physics equations. Near-field interactions in artificial nanostructured materials provide a variety of functionalities useful for optical systems integration. Recently, the inclusion of surface plasmon photonics in this area has opened up a host of new possibilities Finally and most importantly, nanophotonics may enable easier integration with other nanotechnologies: electronics, magnetics, mechanics, chemistry, and biology. We will address some of these areas in this paper.
Optical technology plays an increasingly important role in numerous information system applications, including optical communications, storage, signal processing, biology, medicine, and sensing. As optical technology develops, there is a growing need to develop scalable and reliable photonic integration technologies. These include the development of passive and active optical components that can be integrated into functional optical circuits and systems, including filters, electrically or optically controlled switching fabrics, optical sources, detectors, amplifiers, etc. We explore the unique capabilities and advantages of nanotechnology in developing next generation integrated photonic information systems. Our approach includes design, modeling and simulations of selected components and devices, their nanofabrication, followed by validation via characterization and testing of the fabricated devices. The latter exploits our recently constructed near field complex amplitude imaging tool. The understanding of near field interactions in nanophotonic devices and systems is a crucial step as these interactions provide a variety of functionalities useful for optical systems integration. Furthermore, near-field optical devices facilitate miniaturization, and simultaneously enhance multifunctionality, greatly increasing the functional complexity per unit volume of the photonic system. Since the optical properties of near-field materials are controlled by the geometry, there is flexibility in the choice of constituent materials, facilitating the implementation of a wide range of devices using compatible materials for ease of fabrication and integration.