Optical directional coupler and Mach-Zehnder interferometer enhanced via 4H-SiC phonons
Finch, Michael F.
Saunders Filho, Claudio A B
Lail, Brian A.
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Surface phonon polaritons (SPhPs), similar to it cousin phenomenon surface plasmon polaitons (SPPs), are quasi-neutral particles resulting from light-matter coupling that can provide high modal confinement and long propagation in the mid to long infrared (IR). Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) is a combination of two connected optical directional couplers (ODC). With the use of SPhPs, sub-wavelength feature sizes and modal areas can be achieved and to this end a hybrid SPhP waveguide, where propagation length and modal area can be trade-off, will be employed in the design of an ODC and MZI. This endeavor analyzes and characteristics both an ODC and MZI using commercially available numerical simulation software employing finite element method (FEM). The ODC and MZI are design using a novel SPhP hybrid waveguide design where a 4H-SiC substrate provides the polariton mode. The output ports power and relative phase difference between ports are investigated. SPhP enhanced ODC and MZI has applications including, but not limited to, next-generation ultra-compact photonic integrated circuits and waveguide based IR sensing.