Compact 2 x 2 couplers based on silicon nanowires are fabricated and tested. They include a directional (X) coupler, a cross-gap coupler (CGC), and a multimode interference (MMI) coupler. The length of the X coupler's parallel film waveguide is 1 μm. The theoretical minimum excess loss of the X coupler is 0.73 dB, whereas its experimental value is 1.0817 dB. CGC has a coupling region length of 24 μm. The minimum excess loss of CGC, which is 0.6 dB in theory, is experimentally determined to be 0.6737 dB. Taper waveguides are used as input/output waveguides for the MMI coupler. The footprint of the MMI region is only 6 x 57 μm2. The excess loss of the MMI coupler is theoretically 0.46 dB, but its experimental value is 0.5423 dB. The experimental nonuniformity of the MMI coupler is 0.0063 dB when the center wavelength is 1.55 μm. The maximum excess loss of the MMI coupler is 0.8233 dB in the wavelength range of 1.52 to 1.58 μm. The simulated and experimental results show that a small 2 x 2 MMI coupler that is suitable for optoelectronic integration exhibits lower excess loss, wider bandwidth, and better uniformity.
Li, H., Dong, X., Bai, Y., Li, E., Li, Y., Liu, Y. & Zhou, W. (2013). Experimental demonstration and analysis of compact silicon-nanowire-based couplers. Optical Engineering, 52 (6), 064003-1-064003-6.