Integrated photonics devices, based in subwavelength grating (SWG) metamaterials, have shown unprecedented performance in a wide variety of situations. Since their proposal and first experimental demonstration in 2010 designers have made use of the new degrees of freedom provided by these structures to design advanced devices with improved capabilities. The extended design space provided by SWG structures has been successfully used to engineer the refractive index, the dispersion and, more recently, the waveguide birefringence, thus allowing novel advanced device design. In this invited talk we will review some of the advances made by our group in the field
Silicon photonics has emerged as an intense field of research due to its unique capabilities to integrate photonics and electronics into the same platform using standard semiconductor fabrication facilities. Subwavelength grating (SWG) structures, i.e. periodic nanostructured waveguides with a pitch below half the wavelength of light, allow the lossless propagation of Bloch-Floquet modes which closely resemble propagation through a homogenous waveguide with optical properties (refractive index, dispersion, birefringence) that can be tailored to fulfill specific design goals. SWG engineering is now routinely used for novel and advanced device design. Fiber-chip couplers, polarization and mode multiplexers, multimode interference couplers (MMIs), lenses, and bragg filters have been successfully designed in our group based in these concepts. In this invited talk we will review some of our last advances in the field.
Silicon photonics has been the subject of intense research efforts. In order to implement complex integrated silicon photonic devices and systems, a wide range of robust building blocks is needed. Waveguide couplers are fundamental devices in integrated optics, enabling different functionalities such as power dividers, spot-size converters, coherent hybrids and fiber-chip coupling interfaces, to name a few. In this work we propose a new type of nanophotonic coupler based on sidewall grating (SIGRA) concept. SIGRAs have been used in the Bragg regime, for filtering applications, as well as in the sub-wavelength regime in multimode interference (MMI) couplers. However, the use of SIGRAs in the radiation regime has been very limited. Specifically, a coarse wavelength division multiplexer was proposed and experimentally validated. In this work we study the use of SIGRAs in the diffractive regime as a mean to couple the light between a silicon wire waveguide mode and a continuum of slab waveguide modes. We also propose an original technique for designing SIGRA based couplers, enabling the synthesis of arbitrary radiation field profile by Floquet- Bloch analysis of individual diffracting elements while substantially alleviating computational load. Results are further validated by 3D FDTD simulations which confirm that the radiated field profile closely matches the target design field.
Silicon photonics is one of the most promising candidates to achieve lab-on-a-chip systems. Making use of the evanescent-field sensing principle, it is possible to determine the presence and concentration of substances by simply measuring the variation produced by the light-matter interaction in the real part of the mode effective index (in the near-infrared band), or in its imaginary part in a specific range of wavelengths (in the mid-infrared band).
Regardless of which is the operating wavelength range, it is essential to select the proper sensing waveguide in order to maximize the device sensitivity. In this work we will review the potential of diffractionless subwavelength grating waveguides (SWG) for sensing applications by demonstrating their powerful capability to engineer the spatial distribution of the mode profile, and thereby to maximize the light-matter interaction. Among other things, we will demonstrate that the SWG waveguide dimensions used until now in the near-infrared are not optimal for sensing applications.
In the mid-infrared band, due to the unacceptable losses of silicon dioxide for wavelengths longer than 4 μm, an additional effort is required to provide a more convenient platform for the development of future applications. In this regard, we will also show our recent progress in the development of a new platform, the suspended silicon waveguide with subwavelength metamaterial cladding. A complete set of elemental building blocks capable of covering the full transparency window of silicon (λ < ∼8.5 μm) will be discussed.