On the Theory of Coupled Modes in Optical Cavity-Waveguide Structures

Philip Trøst Kristensen, Jakob Rosenkrantz de Lasson, Mikkel Heuck, Niels Gregersen, Jesper Mørk

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Light propagation in systems of optical cavities coupled to waveguides can be conveniently described by a general rate equation model known as (temporal) coupled mode theory (CMT). We present an alternative derivation of the CMT for optical cavitywaveguide structures, which explicitly relies on the treatment of the cavity modes as quasi-normal modes with properties that are distinctly different from those of the modes in the waveguides. The two families of modes are coupled via the field equivalence principle to provide a physically appealing yet surprisingly accurate description of light propagation in the coupled systems. Practical application of the theory is illustrated using example calculations in one and two dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number19
Pages (from-to)4247-4259
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Coupled mode analysis
  • Integrated optics
  • Optical resonators
  • Optical waveguides


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