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Coupling characteristics of dual-core photonic crystal fiber couplers

Kunimasa Saitoh, Yuichiro Sato, and Masanori Koshiba


Hokkaido University, North 13 West 8, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 060-8628, Japan ksaitoh@ice.eng.hokudai.ac.jp

Abstract: Coupling characteristics of dual-core photonic crystal fiber (PCF) couplers are evaluated by using a vector finite element method and their application to a multiplexer-demultiplexer (MUX-DEMUX) based on PCF is investigated. The PCF couplers for 1.48/1.55-m, 1.3/1.55-m, 0.98/1.55-m, and 0.85/1.55-m wavelength MUX-DEMUX are designed and the beam propagation analysis of the proposed PCF couplers is performed. It is shown from numerical results that it is possible to realize significantly shorter MUX-DEMUX PCFs, compared to conventional optical fiber couplers.
2003 Optical Society of America
OCIS codes: (060.2270) Fiber Characterization; (060.2280) Fiber design and fabrication; (060.1810) Couplers, switches, and multiplexers

References
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. J. Broeng, D. Mogilevstev, S.E. Barkou, and A. Bjarklev, Photonic crystal fibers: A new class of optical waveguides, Opt. Fiber Technol. 5, 305-330 (1999). T.A. Birks, J.C. Knight, B.J. Mangan, and P.St.J. Russell, Photonic crystal fibers: An endless variety, IEICE Trans. Electron. E84-C, 585-592 (2001). J.C. Knight, T.A. Birks, P.St.J. Russell, and D.M. Atkin, All-silica single-mode optical fiber with photonic crystal cladding, Opt. Lett. 21, 1547-1549 (1996). T.A. Birks, J.C. Knight, and P.St.J. Russell, Endlessly single-mode photonic crystal fiber, Opt. Lett. 22, 961-963 (1997). J.C. Knight, J. Broeng, T.A. Birks, and P.St.J. Russell, Photonic band gap guidance in optical fiber, Science 282, 1476-1478 (1998). R.F. Cregan, B.J. Mangan, J.C. Knight, T.A. Birks, P.St.J. Russell, P.J. Roberts, and D.C. Allan, Singlemode photonic band gap guidance of light in air, Science 285, 1537-1539 (1999). J.C. Knight, T.A. Birks, R.F. Cregan, P.St.J. Russell, and J.-P. de Sandro, Large mode area photonic crystal fiber, Electron. Lett. 34, 1347-1348 (1998). N.G.R. Broderick, T.M. Monro, P.J. Bennett, and D.J. Richardson, Nonlinearlity in holey optical fibers: Measurement and future opportunities, Opt. Lett. 24, 1395-1397 (1999). M.J. Gander, R. McBride, J.D.C. Jones, D. Mogilevtsev, T.A. Birks, J.C. Knight, and P.St.J. Russell, Experimantal measurement of group velocity dispersion in photonic crystal fibre, Electron. Lett. 35, 63-64 (1999). B.J. Mangan, J.C. Knight, T.A. Birks, P.St.J. Russell, and A.H. Greenaway, Experimental study of dualcore photonic crystal fibre, Electron. Lett. 36, 1358-1359 (2000). F. Fogli, L. Saccomandi, P. Bassi, G. Bellanca, and S. Trillo, Full vectorial BPM modeling of indexguiding photonic crystal fibers and couplers, Opt. Express 10, 54-59 (2002), http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-10-1-54 B.H. Lee, J.B. Eom, J. Kim, D.S. Moon, U.-C. Paek, and G.-H. Yang, Photonic crystal fiber coupler, Opt. Lett. 27, 812-814 (2002). K. Saitoh and M. Koshiba, Full-vectorial imaginary-distance beam propagation method based on a finite element scheme: application to photonic crystal fibers, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 38, 927-933 (2002). K. Saitoh, M. Koshiba, T. Hasegawa, and E. Sasaoka, Chromatic dispersion control in photonic crystal fibers: application to ultra-flattend dispersion, Opt. Express 11, 843-852 (2003), http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-11-8-843 K. Saitoh and M. Koshiba, Full-vectorial finite element beam propagation method with perfectly matched layers for anisotropic optical waveguides, J. Lightwave Technol. 19, 405-413 (2001).

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16. 17. 18.

F.L. Teixeira and W.C. Chew, General closed-form pml constitutive tensors to match arbitrary bianisotropic and dispersive linear media, IEEE Microwave Guided Wave Lett. 8, 223-225 (1998). M. Koshiba and Y. Tsuji, Curvilinear hybrid edge/nodal elements with triangular shape for guided-wave problems, J. Lightwave Technol. 18, 737-743 (2000). L. Zhang and C. Yang, Polarization splitter based on photonic crystal fibers, Opt. Express 11, 1015-1020 (2003), http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-11-9-1015

1. Introduction Optical fibers with silica-air microstructures called photonic crystal fibers (PCFs) [1, 2] have attracted a considerable amount of attention recently, because of their unique properties that are not realized in conventional optical fibers. PCFs are divided into two different kinds of fibers. The first one, index-guiding PCF, guides light by total internal reflection between a solid core and a cladding region with multiple air-holes [3, 4]. On the other hand, the second one uses a perfectly periodic structure exhibiting a photonic bandgap (PBG) effect at the operating wavelength to guide light in a low index core-region [5, 6]. In this paper, we will focus on index-guiding PCFs, also called holey fibers (HFs). HFs possess numerous unusual properties such as wide single-mode wavelength [4], bend-loss edge at short wavelength [4], extremely large [7] or small [8] effective-core-area at single-mode region, and anomalous group-velocity dispersion at visible and near-infrared wavelengths [9]. In a usual PCF, there is one defect in the central region and the light is guided along this defect. Recently, introducing adjacent two defects, two cores, into a PCF, it has been shown that it is possible to use the PCF as an optical fiber coupler [10-12]. These PCF couplers with adjacent two cores have possibility of realizing a multiplexerdemultiplexer (MUX-DEMUX). In this paper, coupling characteristics of dual-core PCF couplers are evaluated by using a vector finite element method (FEM) [13, 14] and their application to a MUX-DEMUX based on PCF is investigated. The PCF couplers for 1.48/1.55-m, 1.3/1.55-m, 0.98/1.55-m, and 0.85/1.55-m wavelength MUX-DEMUX are designed and the beam propagation analysis [15] of the proposed PCF couplers is performed. It is shown from numerical results that it is possible to realize significantly shorter MUX-DEMUX PCFs, compared to conventional optical fiber couplers. 2. Guided mode analysis We consider a PCF with multiple air holes in the cladding region surrounded by perfectly matched layers (PMLs) regions 1 to 8 with thicknesses ti (i = 1 to 4), the cross section of which is shown in Fig. 1, where x and y are the transverse directions, z is the propagation direction, PML regions 1, 2 and 3, 4 are faced with the x and y directions, respectively, regions 5 to 8 correspond to the four corners, and Wx and Wy are the computational window sizes along the x and y directions, respectively. Using an anisotropic PML [13, 16], from Maxwells equations the following vectorial wave equation is derived:

([ s]1 E ) k02 n 2 [ s] E = 0
with
[s] =
s y / sx 0 0

(1)

0 sx / s y 0

sx s y

0 0

(2)

where k0 = 2/ the free-space wavenumber, is the wavelength, E denotes the electric field, and n is the refractive index. The PML parameters sx and sy are given in Table 1, where the values of si (i = 1 to 4) are complex as
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si = 1

j i t i

(3)

where is the distance from the beginning of PML. Attenuation of the field E in PML regions can be controlled by choosing the values of i appropriately. When applying a full-vector FEM to HFs, a curvilinear hybrid edge/nodal element [17] as shown in Fig. 2 is very useful for avoiding spurious solutions and for accurately modeling curved boundaries of circular air holes. For the axial electric field, Ez, a nodal element with six variables, Ez1 to Ez6, is employed, while for the transverse fields, Ex and Ey, an edge element with eight variables, Et1 to Et8, is employed, resulting in significantly fast convergence of solutions [17]. Dividing the fiber cross section into curvilinear hybrid edge/nodal elements, and applying the standard finite element technique, we can obtain the following eigenvalue equation:

[ K ]{E} = 2 [ M ]{E}

(4)

where is the propagation constant, [K] and [M] are the finite element matrices [13], and {E} is the discretized electric-field vector consisting of the edge and nodal variables.

z y
5

x
3 silica 6 t3

Wy

air hole 7 t1 4 Wx 8 t2 t4

Fig. 1. Cross section of PCF surrounded by PMLs.

Et 1 1 Ez4 4 Et 7 Et 8 5 2 Et 2 Ez5 6

Ez1

Et 6 Ez6 3 Et 5 Et 3 Ez3

Et 4 Ez2

Fig. 2. Curvilinear hybrid edge/nodal element.

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Table 1. PML parameters.

PML parameter sx sy

PML region 1 s1 1 2 s2 1 3 1 s3 4 1 s4 5 s1 s3 6 s2 s3 7 s1 s4 8 s2 s4

3. Characteristics of PCF couplers We consider PCF coupler structures as shown in Fig. 3, where is the hole pitch, d is the hole diameter, and the background silica index is assumed to be 1.45. The separation between the centers of two cores, A and B, shown in Fig. 3(a) is 3 and we call this PCF Type 1. On the other hand, the separation between the centers of A and B shown in Fig. 3(b) is 2 and we call this PCF Type 2. Figure 4 shows the hole-pitch dependence of coupling length L for the two PCF couplers shown in Fig. 3, where d/ = 0.5, operating wavelength = 1.55 m, and the red and the blue curves denote the coupling lengths for the x-polarized and the y-polarized modes, respectively. The coupling length L is obtained by using the propagation constants of even mode e and odd mode o as

L=

. e o

(5)

The coupling length of Type 1 is shorter than that of Type 2 for the same pitch and the same hole diameter, because the distance between the centers of A and B for Type 1 is nearer than that for Type 2. Thus, we consider a coupler of Type 1 with shorter coupling length.

z y

x Type 1

z y

x Type 2

(a)

d
(b)

Fig. 3. Cross sections of PCF couplers of (a) Type 1 and (b) Type 2.

Figure 5 shows the hole-pitch dependence of coupling lengths for couplers with d/ = 0.3, 0.5 0.7, and 0.9, where the operating wavelength = 1.55 m, the red and the blue curves denote the coupling lengths for the x-polarized and the y-polarized modes, respectively. The coupling lengths of couplers with smaller hole-pitch and smaller value of d/ becomes shorter. Moreover, the coupling length of x-polarized mode is shorter than that of y-polarized mode, because the two cores are placed in parallel to x-axis and the coupling of x-polarized mode is stronger than that of y-polarized mode. Although, in order to obtain shorter coupling lengths, strong coupling between cores is necessary, too strong coupling causes lower extinction ratios. Therefore, in what follows, we consider PCF couplers using y-polarized mode. The structures
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shown in Fig. 3 exhibit relatively small difference between the coupling length for the x- and y-polarized modes. The difference can be enhanced by introducing structural birefringence into the cores. High birefringence can be obtained by adjusting the size of the air holes around the two core regions, which gives rise to an enhanced difference in the coupling lengths for the two polarization modes [18]. Figure 6 shows the hole-pitch dependence of coupling lengths, where d/ = 0.7 and the operating wavelength is taken as a parameter. The coupling length increases with decreasing the operating wavelength. A PCF coupler can separate two wavelengths 1 and 2, if it is in a bar-coupled state for one wavelength and a cross-coupled state for the other; i.e., the coupling length L1 at the wavelength 1 and the coupling length L2 at the wavelength 2 satisfy the relation L1 : L2 = even : odd (6) or L1 : L2 = odd : even. (7)

104
Coupling length [ m ]

d / =0.5 Type 2

10

Type 1 10
2

x -polarization y -polarization 101 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 [ m ] 3.0 3.5

Fig. 4. Coupling lengths of PCF couplers with d/ = 0.5.

105
Coupling length [ m ]

=1.55 m

d / =0.9 0.7 0.5 0.3 x -polarization y -polarization

10

103 10
2

10 0.5

1.0

1.5

2.0 2.5 [ m ]

3.0

3.5

4.0

Fig. 5. Hole-pitch dependence of coupling lengths, taking the value of d/ as a parameter.

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10

Coupling length [ m ]

103

=0.8 m 1.0 m 1.2 m 1.4 m 1.55 m 1.0

10

1.6 m d / =0.7 1.5 [ m ] 2.0 2.5

10 0.5

Fig. 6. Hole-pitch dependence of coupling lengths for PCF coupler with d/ = 0.7, taking the operating wavelength as a parameter.

Figure 7 shows the d/ dependence of coupling length ratios L2/L1 for couplers with hole-pitch = 1.8, 2.0, and 2.2 m. The one wavelength 1 is fixed at 1.55 m and the another one 2 is 1.48 m, 1.3 m, 0.98 m, and 0.85 m. The wavelengths of 1.48 m and 0.98 m are used as pump lights in erbium-doped fiber amplifiers and the wavelength of 0.85 m is used in short wavelength-range optical communication systems. Here, each coupler is called Coupler 1, 2, 3, or 4. From Fig. 7, we could say that the optimum coupling-length ratio is different for each coupler. The structural parameters of Couplers 1 to 4 for 1.48/1.55-m, 1.3/1.55-m, 0.98/1.55m, and 0.85/1.55-m wavelength MUX-DEMUX are shown in Table 2. The fiber length of Coupler 1 is longer than that of the others, because the difference between the coupling lengths at 1.48 m and 1.55 m is shorter. The coupling length ratios for Couplers 1 to 4 are L1.55 : L1.48 = 9 : 10, L1.55 : L1.3 = 2 : 3 , L1.55 : L0.98 = 1 : 2, and L1.55 : L0.85 = 1: 4, respectively, and the fiber lengths are 2284 m, 712 m, 481 m, and 1178 m, respectively. The fiber lengths are much shorter than conventional optical fiber couplers. In conventional optical fiber couplers the two cores are separated by a long distance and the coupling between the modes of the two cores is week, and so the fiber coupler length becomes long. On the other hand, in dual-core PCF couplers investigated here the distance between the two cores is 3 ( 2 m), and so very short coupling length can be realized. Finally, using a vector beam propagation method [15], we confirm that the four PCF couplers designed as Table 2 could separate two wavelengths of 1 and 2. The y-polarized fundamental modes at 1 and 2 are inputted into the core A in Fig. 3(a) and the beam propagation analysis is performed. Figure 8 shows the normalized power variation along the propagation distance in the bar port. In Couplers 1 to 4, the separation of two wavelengths of 1 and 2 is achieved at the propagation distance of 2284 m, 712 m, 481 m, and 1178 m, respectively. These results are in good agreement with the coupling lengths estimated by using (5), and Couplers 1 to 4 operate as MUX/DEMUX for 1.48/1.55-m, 1.3/1.55-m, 0.98/1.55-m, and 0.85/1.55-m wavelength, respectively. In Coupler 3, the field confinement is weak because of smaller value of d/, and so, the extinction ratio of this coupler is lower, compared to the other couplers.

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9 8 7

2 =0.85 m 0.98 m

L 2 / L1.55

6 5 4 3 2 1 0.2 1.3 m 1.48 m 0.4 0.6 d / 0.8 1.0

(a) = 1.8 m

9 8 7

2 =0.85 m 0.98 m

L 2 / L1.55

6 5 4 3 2 1 0.2

1.3 m 1.48 m
0.4 0.6 d / 0.8 1.0

(b) = 2.0 m

9 8 7

2 =0.85 m 0.98 m

L 2 / L1.55

6 5 4 3 2 1 0.2

1.3 m 1.48 m
0.4 0.6 d / 0.8 1.0

(c) = 2.2 m
Fig. 7. d/-dependence of coupling-length ratios, where 1 = 1.55 m.

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1.0

1.0
1 = 1.55 m

Normalized power

Normalized power

0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 0

0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2

2 = 1.3 m

2 = 1.48 m 400 800 1200 1600 2000 2400 Distance [ m ]

1 = 1.55 m 0 0 200 600 400 Distance [ m] 800

(a) Coupler 1
1.0
Normalized power

(b) Coupler 2
1.0

1 = 1.55 m

Normalized power

0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 0 2 = 0.98 m 200 400 Distance [ m ] 600

0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 0 200 2 = 0.85 m

1 = 1.55 m

400

(c) Coupler 3

(d) Coupler 4

600 800 1000 1200 1400 Distance [ m]

Fig. 8. Demultiplexing characteristics of PCF couplers.

Table 2. Parameters of photonic crystal fiber couplers, where 1 = 1.55 m.

Parameters 2 [m] [m] d/ Fiber length [m] 4. Conclusion

1 1.48 1.8 0.52 2284

Couplers 2 3 1.3 0.98 1.8 2.2 0.53 0.35 712 418

4 0.85 1.8 0.58 1178

Coupling characteristics of dual-core PCF couplers have been numerically investigated and MUX-DEMUX using the PCF couplers for 1.48/1.55-m, 1.3/1.55-m, 0.98/1.55-m, and 0.85/1.55-m wavelength have been proposed. From numerical results, it has been shown that it is possible to design significantly shorter MUX-DEMUX PCFs with coupling lengths of a few millimeters, compared to conventional optical fiber couplers with coupling lengths of several tens or even hundreds of millimeters. It is important that how the light should be launched into one core efficiently at the input and collected from one core at the end of the PCF. These are problems to be considered in a future work.

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