Infoscience

Journal article

Near-field characterization of propagating optical modes in photonic crystal waveguides

We analyze the propagating optical modes in a Silicon membrane photonic crystal waveguide, based on subwavelength-resolution amplitude and phase measurements of the optical fields using a heterodyne near-field scanning optical microscope (H-NSOM). Fourier analysis of the experimentally obtained optical amplitude and phase data permits identification of the propagating waveguide modes, including the direction of propagation (in contrast to intensity-only measurement techniques). This analysis reveals the presence of two superposed propagating modes in the waveguide. The characteristics of each mode are determined and found to be consistent with theoretical predictions within the limits of fabrication tolerances. An analysis of the relative amplitudes of these two modes as a function of wavelength show periodic oscillation with a period of approximately 3.3 nm. The coupling efficiency between the ridge waveguide and the photonic crystal waveguide is also estimated and found to be consistent with the internal propagating mode characteristics. The combination of high-sensitivity amplitude and phase measurements, subwavelength spatial resolution, and appropriate interpretive techniques permits the in-situ observation of the optical properties of the device with an unprecedented level of detail, and facilitates the characterization and optimization of nanostructure-based photonic devices and systems.

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