Inverse-Designed Photonic Crystal Circuits for Optical Beam Steering


Dries Vercruysse, Neil V. Sapra, Ki Youl Yang, and Jelena Vučković. 2021. “Inverse-Designed Photonic Crystal Circuits for Optical Beam Steering.” ACS Photonics, 8, 10, Pp. 3085-3093. Publisher's Version


The ability of photonic crystal waveguides (PCWs) to confine and slow down light makes them an ideal component to enhance the performance of various photonic devices, such as optical modulators or sensors. However, the integration of PCWs in photonic applications poses design challenges, most notably, engineering the PCW mode dispersion and creating efficient coupling devices. Here, we solve these challenges with photonic inverse design and experimentally demonstrate a slow-light PCW optical phased array (OPA) with a wide steering range. Even and odd mode PCWs are engineered for a group index of 25, over a bandwidth of 20 and 12 nm, respectively. Additionally, for both PCW designs, we create strip waveguide couplers and free-space vertical couplers. Finally, also relying on inverse design, the radiative losses of the PCW are engineered, allowing us to construct OPAs with a 20° steering range in a 20 nm bandwidth.
Last updated on 07/07/2022