Journal article

Statistics of the disorder-induced losses of high-Q photonic crystal cavities

We analyze and compare the effect of fabrication disorder on the quality factor of six well-known high-index photonic crystal cavity designs. The theoretical quality factors for the different nominal structures span more than three orders of magnitude, ranging from 5.4 x 10(4) to 7.5 x 10(7), and the defect responsible for confining light is introduced in a different way for each structure. Nevertheless, among the different designs we observe similar behavior of the statistics of the disorder-induced light losses. In particular, we show that for high enough disorder, such that the quality factor is mainly determined by the disorder-induced losses, the measured quality factors differ marginally - not only on average as commonly acknowledged, but also in their full statistical distributions. This notably shows that optimizing the theoretical quality factor brings little practical improvement if its value is already much larger than what is typically measured, and if this is the case, there is no way to choose an alternative design more robust to disorder. (C) 2013 Optical Society of America


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