Md Zain, Ahmad Rifqi
crystal / photonic wire cavities based on
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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It has been of major interest in recent research to produce faster optical processing for many telecommunications applications, as well as other applications of high performance optoelectronics. The combination of one-dimensional photonic crystal structures (PhC) and narrow photonic wire (PhW) waveguides in high refractive-index contrast materials such as silicon-on-insulator (SOI) is one of the main contenders for provision of various compact devices on a single chip. This development is due to the ability of silicon technology to support monolithic integration of optical interconnects and form fully functional photonic devices incorporated into CMOS chips. The high index contrast of the combination of a silicon core with a surrounding cladding of silica and/or air provides strong optical confinement, leading to the realization of more compact structures and small device volumes. In order to obtain a wide range of device functionality, the reduction of propagation losses in narrow wires is equally important, although there are still performance limitations determined by fabrication processes. Compact single-row PhC structures embedded in PhW waveguide micro-cavities could become essential components for wavelength selective devices, especially for possible application in WDM systems. The high quality factor, Q, and confinement of light in a small volume, V, are important for optical signal processing and filtering purposes, implying large Purcell factor values.
In this thesis, one-dimensional photonic crystal/photonic wire micro-cavities have been designed and modeled using both 2D and 3D versions of the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) approach. These devices were fabricated using electron beam lithography (EBL) and reactive ion etching (RIE) for patterning of the silicon layer. The device structures were characterized with TE polarized light, using a tunable laser covering the range from 1480 nm to 1585 nm. Single-row periodic hole-type PhC mirrors consisting of identical and equally spaced holes were embedded in 500 nm wire waveguides. Two PhC hole mirrors were separated with a cavity spacer varying from 400 nm to 500 nm in length to form a micro-cavity. In contrast, several different cavity arrangements were also successfully investigated, - i.e. extended cavity and coupled micro-cavity structures.
The experimental results on photonic crystal/photonic wire micro-cavity structures have demonstrated that further enhancement of the quality-factor (Q-factor) - up to approximately 149,000 at wavelengths in the fibre telecommunications range is possible. The Q factor values and the useful transmission levels achieved are due, in particular, to the combination of both tapering within and outside the micro-cavity, with carefully designed hole diameters and non-periodic hole placement within the tapered sections. On the other hand, a large resonance quality factor of approximately 18,500, together with high normalized transmission of 85% through the use of tapering on both sides of the hole-type PhC mirrors that formed the micro-cavity, has been obtained. For the extended cavity case, the multiple resonances excited within the stop band, together with substantial tuning capability of the resonances obtained by varying the cavity length has been demonstrated, together with a Q-factor value of approximately 74,000 at the selected resonance frequency with a normalised transmission of 40%.
In addition, the coupled micro-cavity structures considered in this thesis have formed the basic building block for designing multiple cavity structures where the combination of several cavities splits the selected single cavity resonance frequency into a number of resonances that depends directly on the number of cavities used in the design. The coupling strength between the resonators and the Free Spectral Range (FSR) between the split resonance frequencies of the coupled cavity combination were controlled via the use of different numbers of periodic hole structures – and through the use of different aperiodic hole taper arrangements between the two cavities in the middle section of the mirrors.
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