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Proceedings Paper

Variable optical attenuator using active multimode interference waveguide
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Paper Abstract

We propose a new structure for an integrated variable optical attenuator using InGaAsP multiple quantum wells. The principle of operation relies on the self-imaging properties of multimode interference (MMI) waveguides. The device consists of a MMI region that is 12 μm wide by 350 μm long, with input and output waveguides that are 2 μm wide. The dimensions of the MMI are calculated such that an image of the input field is produced at the output waveguide. The last statement is true as long as the phase relation between the modes in the MMI section is kept constant. Therefore, by selectively perturbing the refractive index within the MMI section, the phase relation of the modes is altered, thereby modifying the interference properties at the output of the device. We present numerical simulations using the Finite-Difference Beam Propagation Method (FD-BPM), and demonstrate that optical attenuation is possible by selectively modulating the refractive index of a narrow region within the MMI section. A dynamic range of -37 dB can be easily obtained at a wavelength of 1.55 μm with a device insertion loss of 0.3 dB. The effects of electro-absorption on the device performance are also investigated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 October 2004
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 5622, 5th Iberoamerican Meeting on Optics and 8th Latin American Meeting on Optics, Lasers, and Their Applications, (21 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.592197
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel A. May-Arrioja, College of Optics and Photonics/Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
Romeo J. Selvas-Aguilar, Ctr. de Investigaciones en Optica, A.C. (Mexico)
Jesus Escobedo-Alatorre, Ctr. de Investigaciones en Ingenieria y Ciencia Aplicadas (Mexico)
Patrick LiKamWa, College of Optics and Photonics/Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
Jose Javier Sanchez-Mondragon, Ctr. de Investigaciones en Ingenieria y Ciencia Aplicadas (Mexico)
Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica, Optica y Electronica (Mexico)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5622:
5th Iberoamerican Meeting on Optics and 8th Latin American Meeting on Optics, Lasers, and Their Applications
Aristides Marcano O.; Jose Luis Paz, Editor(s)

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