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Prepared by:

Mohammad Yahiya Azab

Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Contents

Contents
1. Introduction...2
A. Slab structure..3
B. Electromagnetic waves5
C. Classification of modes..6

2. Maxwells Equations7
A. Introducing Maxwells equations.7
B. Initial Conditions.8
C. Solution to Maxwells equations..8
TEM Modes.12
TE Modes.12
TM Modes...16

3. Power propagation and wave velocities.23


A. The Poynting vector..23
B. Dispersions.23
Chromatic dispersion23
Modal Dispersion24

C. Wave velocities.26
Phase velocity...26
Group velocity..26

D. Losses...27
Bending losses..27
Radiation losses27

4. References..28
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Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Introduction

1. Introduction
Dielectric slab waveguides are the simplest optical waveguiding structures.
Because of their simple geometry, guided and radiation modes can be
described by simple mathematical expressions.
The study of slab waveguides allows us to understand the guiding properties
of more complicated dielectric waveguides.
Slab waveguides are not only used for modeling more general types of
waveguides, but also used for guidance in integrated optical circuits.
Here, we are only concerned about the planner (Rectangular) slab
waveguides, thats we can work only in Cartesian coordinates (x, y and z).

Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Introduction

1.1 Slab Structure

We have two cases for the planner waveguide. A symmetric case where
, and an asymmetric case where n2n3. Here, also, we will consider
the symmetric case (

).

The core region is called the Film deposited on a layer called substrate and
covered with another layer called Superstrate. If the two surrounding layers
are identical, then both of them are called the Cladding.
it is well known that waveguiding (ex. Optical Fibers) is based on the
phenomena of Total Internal Reflection(T.I.R), that is when a ray of light is
incident from a medium of higher refractive index into another medium of
lower refractive index with an angle of incidence ( ) greater than the critical
angle ( c ) , then the ray is totally reflected.

We may also classify waveguides due to their modes of guiding to :


1) Single-Mode,
2) Multi-mode waveguides.
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Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Introduction

A Mode represents a ray of light carrying a group of wavelengths (or


frequencies), such that a single-mode waveguide allows only one ray of light
to propagate through it, while a multi-mode waveguide allows more (but finite
number of) rays of lights to propagate within it.

A single-mode waveguide is indeed better than a multi-mode one that is in


multi-mode the rays of light are reflected from the surface at different angles,
so different modes (rays) will arrive at the receiver at different times, which
is more difficult to handle. While in single-mode waveguide it doesn't happen
as it is only one ray (mode) called Fundamental Mode.
We will concentrate here in finding the modal solution of multimode
waveguide, which is to find the number of allowed modes to propagate within
the waveguide and their field distribution inside the guide.

Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Introduction

1.2 Electromagnetic Waves


They are transverse waves in space that has two components: Electric and
Magnetic components, such that each component is perpendicular to each
other and both of them are perpendicular to the direction of propagation of
the wave. Each of the two components are time varying (ie change with time).

Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Introduction

1.3 Classification of Modes


The propagation of electromagnetic waves in guides may be classified into
three classes:

1. TEM mode (Transverse Electromagnetic): in which both the electric and


the magnetic field lines are normal to the axis of propagation (K) i.e. no
existence of

or

components (

).

2. TE mode (Transvers Electric): in which only the electric field lines are
normal to the axis of propagation (K) i.e. no existence of
(

component

).

3. TM mode (Transvers Magnetic): in which only the magnetic field lines


are normal to the axis of propagation (K) i.e. no existence of
component (

).

We will try to find which type of modes can propagate in a rectangular


dielectric slab optical waveguide, and the field distribution of each on inside
the wave guide.

Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Maxwell's Equations

2. Maxwell's Equations
2.1 Introducing Maxwells equations
The propagation of electromagnetic waves is governed by Maxwell's
equations.
(2.1)

(2.2)

(2.3)

Where :

(2.4)

So, solving these equations will allow us to realize the propagation of


different modes inside the wave guide.

Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Maxwell's Equations

2.2 Initial Conditions


First we will put initial conditions for the case of rectangular dielectric slab
waveguide which are:
1. There is no current flow as it is a dielectric material (J=0).
2. There is no charge density for the same reason (=0).
Second we will substitute with the following:

1.
2.

( is scalar Isotropic), (i=1,2 core, cladding),

3.

(non-magnetic material)

Throughout we get,
(2.5)
(2.6)
(2.7)
(2.8)

2.2 Solution to Maxwells equations


Applying the curl operator on

While the curl is dependent on (x, y and z) only then it is not time-dependent,
therefore we may apply the curl on (H) before applying Differentiation w.r.t
(t), which is
From (2.6):
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Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Maxwell's Equations

From the vector identity:


We get:
And from (2.7) we get:

(2.9)

Transferring E into the phasor domain:

If

So,

Let ,

which leads to :

Substitute in (2.9):

}]

But ( ) is independent of the time (t), so:

}]

}]

}]

But

Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Maxwell's Equations

Finally:

Or

Let

,( i=1,2 for core and cladding)

So we get:

This is called the Helmholtz equation.


Now we have

is a function of (x, y and z) ie is dependent of (x, y and z).

For simplicity we may assume that the dependency of z is in the form (


where

is the propagation constant

),

The effective index may therefore be interpreted as the refractive index of


an equivalent bulk medium, which would give identical values for the phase
velocity and propagation constant to those obtained in the guide
so:

For:

This leads to:

For more simplicity we may also assume that the y-dimension of the slab is
extremely greater than the x-dimension, for which we may assume that the
electric filed is uniform in the y-direction. So,
Finally we have

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(2.10)

Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Maxwell's Equations

But,

Then we will have to apply equation (2.10) for each component of the electric
field.
From equation (2.5)

So,

We get:

But
Also

always as the field in the y-direction is assumed to be uniform.


as the z-dependence is assumed to be

Finally, the same assumptions may be applied on

and
Therefore:

(2.11)

(2.12)

(2.13)

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Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Maxwell's Equations

As we said before we have three types of modes to propagate, TEM, TE and


TM, which we will study separately:

2.3.1 TEM (Transvers Electromagnetic)


In which
but if we applied these conditions on equations (2.11),(2.12) and (2.13) we
will get :

This means that there will be no

propagation for this mode in the wave guide.

2.3.2 TM (Transvers Magnetic)


In which
Let's start with component

As we see we have two regions:


1. Core (0<x<2d)
2. Cladding (x<0 or x>2d)
Applying equation (2.10) for

For core region


for cladding region

For reserving the field in the core it must be in an oscillating form (

).
However, we dont need any field to leak out into the cladding, so it is better
to be decreasing exponential into the cladding (

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Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Maxwell's Equations

Let

So, we may assume the solutions as follows:

At x=0

At x=2d
From equation (8):

}
:

Applying the continuity conditions for


At x=0:

At x=2d

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Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Maxwell's Equations

From (2.15), (2.17):

But from (2.16):

This is called the Eigenvalue equation from which we can specify the values
of

that may achieve the previous implicit equation.

Where

For which the eigenvalue equation can be written as :

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Or:

)
And:

[(

Where:

Now using Newton-Raphson method we may find the values of


satisfy the eigenvalue equation for a given value of

those

while the core width

is kept constant.
We will start with a value for
mode (single value of

of so small that we might acquire a single

) let

.
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The iteration for

is:

Using a Matlab code we use a starting value of


value for

find a single

after 6 iterations, the value is found to be from which we get

.
The following figure shows the distribution of
of

for the determined value

, which is so close to a single mode.

Now we will increase


Let

.Using a Matlab code we use a starting value of

find a single value for


we get

a bit so that we would get multiple modes.

after 7 iterations, the value is found to be from which

The following figure shows the distribution of


of

, which is so close to a single mode.

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for the determined value

Increase

again to

Using a Matlab code we use a starting value of


value for

find a single

after 7 iterations, the value is found to be from which we get

.
The following figure shows the distribution of
of

for the determined value

, which is so close to a single mode.

Repeating the previous steps for more values of

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we get:

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Now we will try to find the other modes for different

At

Setting the starting value of

we get:

And for a starting value of

we get:

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At

Setting the starting value of

And for a starting value of

we get:

And for a starting value of

we get:

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we get:

At

Setting the starting value of

And for a starting value of

we get:

And for a starting value of

we get:

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we get:

And for a starting value of

we get:

Now we may plot

for the different acquired modes:

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Changing the thickness of the core

2.3.3 TE (Transvers Electric)


In which
Let's start with component

As we see we have two regions:


1. Core (0<x<2d)
2. Cladding (x<0 or x>2d)
Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Applying equation (2.10) for

Maxwell's Equations

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For core region


for cladding region
From equation (2.6):

||

So,

||

We get:

Also

But

always as the field in the y-direction is assumed to be uniform.


as the z-dependence is assumed to be

Applying the phasor on


Therefore:

(2.18)

(2.19)

(2.20)

Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Maxwell's Equations

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Again, for reserving the field in the core it must be in an oscillating form
(

).

And, we dont need any field to leak out into the cladding, so it is better to be
decreasing exponential into the cladding (

Let

So, we may assume the solutions as follows:

At x=0
(2.21)

At x=2d

(2.22)

From equation (2.19):

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Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Maxwell's Equations

Applying the continuity conditions for


At x=0:

(2.23)
At x=2d

(2.24)

From (2.22), (2.24):

But from (2.23):

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Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Maxwell's Equations

]
[
[

]
]

This is called the Eigenvalue equation from which we can specify the values
of

that may achieve the previous implicit equation.

Where

For which the eigenvalue equation can be written as :

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Or:

)
And:

[(
{

]
}

Where:

Now using Newton-Raphson method we may find the values of


satisfy the eigenvalue equation for a given value of

those

while the core width

is kept constant.
We will start with a value for

) let

mode (single value of


The iteration for

of so small that we might acquire a single

is:

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Using a Matlab code we use a starting value of

, the value is

found to be from which we get


The following figure shows the distribution of
of

for the determined value

, which is so close to a single mode.

Now we will increase


Let

a bit so that we would get multiple modes.

.Using a Matlab code we use a starting value of

the value is found to be from which we get

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Increase

again to

Using a Matlab code we use a starting value of


value for

find a single

after 7 iterations, the value is found to be from which we get

The following figure shows the distribution of


of , which is so close to a single mode.

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for the determined value

Now we will try to find the other modes for different .

At

Setting the starting value of

we get:

And for a starting value of

we get:

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At

Setting the starting value of

And for a starting value of

we get:

And for a starting value of

we get:

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we get:

At

Setting the starting value of

And for a starting value of

we get:

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we get:

And for a starting value of

we get:

And for a starting value of

we get:

Now we may plot

for the different acquired modes:

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Changing the thickness of the core

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For TE modes we may define the power carried by each mode as:

and we have:

Let's fix

and for

we get

So we may plot the power vs mode number as:

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For TM modes we may define the power carried by each mode as:

and we have:

Let's fix

and for

we get

So we may plot the power vs mode number as:

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Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Power Propagation and Wave velocities

3. Power-propagation and Wave-Velocities


3.1 The Poynting vector
The Poynting vector usually written as S is the direction in which energy
travels in an EM wave, we will not go into the vector calculus, but it is given
by taking the cross product of the vector field of E and the complex
conjugate of the vector field H.

This represents a power flow along the z axis. The average in watts per
square metre is given by:

3.2 Dispersions
3.2.1 Chromatic (Waveguide - Material) Dispersion
Chromatic dispersion results from the spectral width of the emitter. The
spectral width determines the number of different wavelengths that are
emitted from the LED or laser. The smaller the spectral width, the fewer the
number of wavelengths that are emitted. Because longer wavelengths travel
faster than shorter wavelengths (higher frequencies) these longer

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wavelengths will arrive at the end of the waveguide ahead of the shorter
ones, spreading out the signal.
Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Power Propagation and Wave velocities

One way to decrease chromatic dispersion is to narrow the spectral width of


the transmitter. Lasers, for example, have a more narrow spectral width than
LEDs. A monochromatic laser emits only one wavelength and therefore, does
not contribute to chromatic dispersion.

3.2.2 Modal Dispersion


Modal dispersion deals with the path (mode) of each light ray. As mentioned
above, most transmitters emit many different modes. Some of these light
rays will travel straight through the center of the waveguide (axial mode)
while others will repeatedly bounce off the cladding/core boundary to zigzag
their way along the waveguide, as illustrated below.

The modes that enter at sharp angles are called high-order modes. These
modes take much longer to travel through the waveguide than the low-order
modes and therefore contribute to modal dispersion.
One way to reduce modal dispersion is to use graded-index waveguide.
Unlike the two distinct materials in a step-index fiber, the graded-index
waveguides cladding is doped so that the refractive index gradually
decreases over many layers.

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Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Power Propagation and Wave velocities

With a graded-index waveguide, the light follows a more curved path. The
high-order modes spend most of the time traveling in the lower-index
cladding layers near the outside of the waveguide. These lower-index core
layers allow the light to travel faster than in the higher-index center layers.
Therefore, their higher velocity compensates for the longer paths of these
high-order modes. A good waveguide design appreciably reduces modal
dispersion.
Modal dispersion can be completely eliminated by using a single-mode
waveguide. As its name implies, single mode waveguide transmits only one
mode of light so there is no spreading of the signal due to modal dispersion.
A monochromatic laser with single-mode waveguide completely eliminates
dispersion in an optical waveguide but is usually used in very long distance
applications because of its complexity and expense.

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Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Power Propagation and Wave velocities

3.3 Wave Velocities


3.3.1 Phase Velocity
It is defined as the velocity for each mode (ray) of the EM wave, i.e. each
mode of propagation has its unique phase velocity.

Where

is the angular frequency and

So, for a wave-guide containing

modes we have

phase-velocities.

3.3.2 Group Velocity


Combining more than one mode to propagate into the wave guide results in a
group wave of an amplitude and frequency different from each of the
contributing mode, the velocity at which the group wave travels is called the
group velocity.

So the group velocity changes with:


Changes in mode.
Changes in light frequency/wavelength

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Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

Power Propagation and Wave velocities

3.5 Losses
We have two basic kinds of losses:

3.5.1 Bending Losses


A form of increased attenuation caused by allowing high order modes to
radiate from the walls of a waveguide. There are two common types of bend
losses. The first type results when the waveguide is curved through a
restrictive radius or curvature. The second type is generally referred to as
micro-bends. It is caused by small distortions of the waveguide imposed by
externally induced perturbations as, for example, slip shod cabling
techniques.

3.5.2 Radiation Losses


It may happen due to the bending as said above, or simply when the inserted
beam is not within the acceptance angle(cone) so that some modes may leak
out of the cladding surface, also impurities in the core or cladding fabrication
may cause further radiation of modes.

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Dielectric Slab Optical Waveguide

References

References
[1] Bob York, "Electromagnetic Fields and Waves".
[2] R.R.A.Syms and J.R.Cozens, "Optical Guided Waves and Devices".
[3] Peter Hertel, "Dielectric Waveguides", TEDA Applied Physics School
Nankai University, 2009.
[4] Sergey Dudorov, "Rectangular dielectric waveguide and its optimal
transition to a metal waveguide", Helsinki University of Technology Radio
Laboratory Publications, 2002.
[5] Jonathan Hu* and Curtis R. Menyuk, "Understanding leaky modes:slab
waveguide revisited", University of Maryland Baltimore County, January,
2009.
[6] Mopati E. Mosiane, "Propagation in a dielectric slab", University of Cape
Town, October 2008.
[7] Matt Hansen, "Maxwells Equations", May 20, 2004.
[8] http://www.fiberoptics4sale.com/wordpress/fiber-dispersion-and-opticaldispersion-an-overview/
[9] http://folk.ntnu.no/oivarn/hercules_ntnu/LWTcourse/partA/9energyandgrou
pvelocity/9%20ENERGY%20AND%20GROUP%20VELOCITY.htm
[10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_velocity
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