Tunable silicon photonics directional coupler driven by a transverse temperature gradient

Piero Orlandi, Francesco Morichetti, Michael J. Strain, Marc Sorel, Andrea Melloni, Paolo Bassi

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42 Citations (Scopus)
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A compact directional coupler fabricated on a silicon photonic platform is presented, with a power-splitting ratio that can be tuned through a transverse temperature gradient induced by a laterally shifted integrated heater. The tuning mechanism exploits the thermally induced phase velocity mismatch between the coupled modes of the silicon waveguides. The positions of the integrated heater and the waveguide design are optimized to maximize the tuning range and to reduce electric power consumption. Asynchronous devices with an intrinsic phase mismatch are demonstrated to be more efficient, providing a tunable coupled power from 0.7 to 0.01 with 36 mW maximum power dissipation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-865
Number of pages3
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2013


  • silicon photonic platforms
  • power-splitting ratio
  • tuning range
  • power dissipation


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