planar lightwave circuit; air trenches; ring resonator; Mach-Zehnder interferometer; total internal reflection; guided waves; integrated optics
We discuss the design of a compact ring resonator (RR) and Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) in a low-refractive-index-contrast waveguide material system through the use of air trenches. A narrow air trench at the intersection of one input and two output waveguides can function as a high-efficiency splitter, while wider air trenches operate as waveguide bends. We first discuss the design of individual splitters and bends and then show how they can be used to realize a compact MZI and RR. The RR has a footprint of only 70 X 100 um, and its optical efficiency at the drop wavelengths is 86%. The free spectral range and full width at half maximum are 7.2 and 0.5 nm, while the Q factor is >3,000. The MZI occupies only 165 X 130 um, and its calculated optical efficiency is 90%.
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