Density of states controls Anderson localization in disordered photonic crystal waveguides

David Garcia-Fernández, Stephan Smolka, Søren Stobbe, Peter Lodahl

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We prove Anderson localization in a disordered photonic crystal waveguide by measuring the ensemble-averaged extinction mean-free path, ℓe, which is controlled by the dispersion in the photon density of states (DOS) of the photonic crystal waveguide. Except for the very low DOS case, where out-of-plane losses are non-negligible, ℓe can be approximated to be the localization length ξ. The extinction mean-free path shows a fivefold variation between the low- and the high-DOS regime, and it becomes shorter than the sample length thus giving rise to strongly confined modes. The dispersive behavior of ℓe demonstrates the close relation between Anderson localization and the DOS in disordered photonic crystals, which opens a promising route to controlling and exploiting Anderson-localized modes for efficient light confinement.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review B Condensed Matter
Issue number16
Pages (from-to)165103
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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