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Single-Mode Vertical Integration of Active Devices within Passive Waveguides of InP-Based Planar WDM Components

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Abstract

In many components of WDM optical communication systems, the incoming multi-wavelength signal is first demultiplexed, then processed on a per wavelength basis and, optionally, multiplexed back into a multi-wavelength output signal. The search for compact and cost-efficient solutions enabling such a functionality has led to the development of monolithically integrated planar components, in which multiplexer / demultiplexer is a waveguide spectrograph having active devices integrated within its input / output passive waveguides for controlling the optical signals propagated therein. The material of choice most commonly used is InP and related semiconductor compounds allowing the designs of both the active and passive waveguides for operation in a spectral range of interest for WDM systems. Although InP-based waveguide spectrographs, e.g. those using waveguide array gratings [1] or waveguide echelle gratings [2], have been around for quite a while, practical realization of those components is limited due to absence of a simple and efficient method for integrating the active and passive waveguides. In this paper, a new approach [3], labeled as a single-mode vertical integration (SMVI), is reported, which can be used for detecting or attenuating or amplifying the WDM optical signals and is believed to be both simple and efficient.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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