Enhancing optical isolator performance in nonreciprocal waveguide arrays

Miguel Levy, Michigan Technological University
Turhan K. Carroll, Air Force Research Laboratory
Ramy El-Ganainy, Michigan Technological University

© 2014 Optical Society of America. Publisher's version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.40.000111


We investigate the operation of optical isolators based on magneto-optics waveguide arrays beyond the coupled mode analysis. Semi-vectorial beam propagation simulations demonstrate that evanescent tail coupling and the effects of radiation are responsible for degrading the device’s performance. Our analysis suggests that these effects can be mitigated when the array size is scaled up. In addition, we propose the use of radiation blockers in order to offset some of these effects, and we show that they provide a dramatic improvement in performance. Finally, we also study the robustness of the system with respect to fabrication tolerances using the coupled mode theory. We show that small, random variations in the system’s parameters tend to average out as the number of optical guiding channels increases.