Subwavelength integrated photonics

Abstract

In the late nineteenth century, Heinrich Hertz demonstrated that the electromagnetic properties of materials are intimately related to their structure at the subwavelength scale by using wire grids with centimetre spacing to manipulate metre-long radio waves. More recently, the availability of nanometre-scale fabrication techniques has inspired scientists to investigate subwavelength-structured metamaterials with engineered optical properties at much shorter wavelengths, in the infrared and visible regions of the spectrum. Here we review how optical metamaterials are expected to enhance the performance of the next generation of integrated photonic devices, and explore some of the challenges encountered in the transition from concept demonstration to viable technology.

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Fig. 1: Light propagation through a periodic dielectric structure.
Fig. 2: Light propagation in a silicon waveguide with an SWG core.
Fig. 3: Subwavelength engineered waveguide devices for fibre-to-chip coupling, beam splitting and polarization splitting.
Fig. 4: A roadmap for integrated SWG metamaterial devices and systems.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to S. Janz, D.-X. Xu, A. Ortega-Moñux, Í. Molina-Fernández, J. G. Wangüemert-Pérez, J. Lapointe, J. Čtyroký, C. Alonso-Ramos, D. Benedikovic, G. Mashanovich, A. V. Velasco, W. Ye, M. L. Calvo, L. Vivien, Y. Grinberg, D. Melati and M. Dado for discussions. R.H. acknowledges financial support from Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Programa Estatal de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad (cofinanciado FEDER) Proyecto TEC2016-80718-R. H.A.A. acknowledges financial support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under grant number FA9550-16-1-0019.

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J.H.S., R.H., P.C. and H.A.A. wrote the manuscript. P.C. and D.R.S. contributed to its preparation.

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Correspondence to Pavel Cheben.

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Cheben, P., Halir, R., Schmid, J.H. et al. Subwavelength integrated photonics. Nature 560, 565–572 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0421-7

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Keywords

  • Subwavelength Grating (SWG)
  • Metasurface
  • Subwavelength Structures
  • Planar Waveguide Circuits
  • Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR)

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