Ultra-Compact Optical Waveguide Couplers For Monolithic Integration

Monolithic integration of waveguides for on-chip optical signal processing is a technology fundamental to enhanced optoelectronic circuit functionality. A major drawback to monolithic optics, however, has been the large size (typically many millimeters) required for optical directional couplers with their associated input/output branching guides, which is incompatible with the relatively high cost of III-V semiconductor materials. This year two quite different, yet complementary, new techniques were demonstrated for making extremely compact couplers suitable for monolithic integration.

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