Highly integrated optical device technology based on square-lattice Si-pillar photonic-crystal-(PC) waveguides is described. The Si-pillar PC waveguides are now ready to use, since efficient optical coupling structures to Si-wire waveguides have been devised. Nanophotonic switches using the Si-pillar-PC waveguides were experimentally demonstrated. The nanophotonic switches make use of two of the features of Si-pillar photonic crystal waveguides. One is the property of slow-light and the other is the usability of zero-radius 90° bends, both of which enable waveguide-based optical devices to be greatly miniaturized. Even apart from the cut-off wavelength, the group index of the pillar-PC waveguides was about 7.8, which was about twice that of a Si-wire waveguide for the entire C-band of telecommunications wavelengths. The 3-dB couplers we fabricated were only 3.2-μm long thanks to the 90° sharp bends, and they operated throughout the entire C-band. Waveguide-cross operation was also demonstrated in the entire C-band. Asymmetric Mach-Zehnder interferometers (MZIs) were configured by using the 3-dB couplers in an area of 13.2 × 37.2 μm. An MZI with a Si-wire heater successfully operated with an extinction ratio of about 20 dB at a heating power of 17 mW. It is strongly suggested that Si-pillar PC photonic-waveguide technology should help us to achieve densely integrated optical-matrix switches demanded for future photonic-telecommunication systems.
Bibliographical noteInvited Paper
Tokushima, M., Vegas Olmos, J. J., & Kitayama, K. (2010). Ultracompact Photonic-Waveguide Circuits in Si-Pillar Photonic-Crystal Structures for Integrated Nanophotonic Switches. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 10(3), 1626-1634. https://doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2010.2046