Significant effort in optical-fibre research has been put in recent years into realizing mode-division multiplexing (MDM) in conjunction with wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) to enable further scaling of the communication bandwidth per fibre. In contrast, almost all integrated photonics operate exclusively in the single-mode regime. MDM is rarely considered for integrated photonics because of the difficulty in coupling selectively to high-order modes, which usually results in high inter-modal crosstalk. Here we show the first microring-based demonstration of on-chip WDM-compatible mode-division multiplexing with low modal crosstalk and loss. Our approach can potentially increase the aggregate data rate by many times for on-chip ultrahigh bandwidth communications.
We present a new technique for the design of transformation-optics devices based on large-scale optimization to achieve the optimal effective isotropic dielectric materials within prescribed index bounds, which is computationally cheap because transformation optics circumvents the need to solve Maxwell's equations at each step. We apply this technique to the design of multimode waveguide bends (realized experimentally in a previous paper) and mode squeezers, in which all modes are transported equally without scattering. In addition to the optimization, a key point is the identification of the correct boundary conditions to ensure reflectionless coupling to untransformed regions while allowing maximum flexibility in the optimization. Many previous authors in transformation optics used a certain kind of quasiconformal map which overconstrained the problem by requiring that the entire boundary shape be specified a priori while at the same time underconstraining the problem by employing "slipping" boundary conditions that permit unwanted interface reflections. (C) 2013 Optical Society of America
Current optical communication systems rely almost exclusively on multimode fibres for short- and medium-haul transmissions, and are now expanding into the long-haul arena. Ultra-high bandwidth applications are the main drive for this expansion, based on the ability to spatially multiplex data channels in multimode systems. Integrated photonics, on the other hand, although largely responsible for today's telecommunications, continues to operate almost strictly in the single-mode regime. This is because multimode waveguides cannot be compactly routed on-chip without significant inter-mode coupling, which impairs their data rate and prevents the use of modal multiplexing. Here we propose a platform for on-chip multimode devices with minimal inter-mode coupling, opening up the possibilities for integrated multimode optics. Our work combines a novel theoretical approach-large-scale inverse design of transformation optics to maximize performance within fabrication constraints-with unique grayscale-lithography fabrication of an exemplary device: a low-crosstalk multimode waveguide bend.
Transformation optics allows the creation of innovative devices; however, its implementation in the optical domain remains challenging. We describe here our process to design and fabricate such devices using silicon as a platform for broad band operation in the optical domain. We discuss the approximations and methods employed to overcome the challenges of using dielectric materials as a platform for transformation optics, such as the anisotropy and gradient refractive index implementation. These encompass conformal and quasi-conformal mappings, and a dithering process to discretize and quantize the continuously inhomogeneous index function. We show examples of devices that we fabricated and tested, including the carpet invisibility cloak, a broad bandwidth light concentrator, and a perfect imaging device, known as Maxwell's fish eye lens. Finally, we touch on future directions under investigation to further develop transformation optics based on dielectric materials.
Gradient index structures are gaining increased importance with the constant development of Transformation Optics and metamaterials. Our ability to fabricate such devices, while limited, has already demonstrated the extensive capabilities of those designs, in the forms of invisibility devices, as well as illusion optics and super-lensing. In this paper we present a low loss, high index contrast lens that is integrated with conventional nanophotonic waveguides to provide improved tolerance in fiber-to-chip optical links for future communication networks. This demonstration represents a positive step in making the extraordinary capabilities of gradient index devices available for integrated optics. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
We use transformation optics to demonstrate 2D silicon nanolenses, with wavelength-independent focal point. The lenses are designed and fabricated with dimensions ranging from 5.0 um x 5.0 um to 20 um x 20 um. According to numerical simulations the lenses are expected to focus light over a broad wavelength range, from 1.30 um to 1.60 um. Experimental results are presented from 1.52 um to 1.61 um.
The ability to render objects invisible using a cloak (such that they are not detectable by an external observer) has long been a tantalizing goal(1-6). Here, we demonstrate a cloak operating in the near infrared at a wavelength of 1,550 nm. The cloak conceals a deformation on a flat reflecting surface, under which an object can be hidden. The device has an area of 225 mu m(2) and hides a region of 1.6 mu m(2). It is composed of nanometre-size silicon structures with spatially varying densities across the cloak. The density variation is defined using transformation optics to define the effective index distribution of the cloak.