Unidirectionally optical coupling from free space into silicon waveguide with wide flat-top angular efficiency
A grating coupling scheme from free-space light into silicon waveguide with a remarkable property of wide flat-top angular efficiency is proposed and theoretically investigated. The coupling structure is composed of two cascaded gratings with a proper distance between their peak angular efficiencies. A quantitative semi-analytical theory based on coupled-mode models is developed for performance prediction and validated with the fully vectorial aperiodic Fourier modal method (a-FMM). With the theory, wide flat-top angular response is achieved and the conditions are pointed out. Proof-of-principle demonstrations show that the −1 dB angular width, a figure of merit to evaluate the flat-top performance, is broadened to almost 3 to 4 times, and meanwhile the −3 dB angular width, i.e., angular-full-width-half-maximum (AFWHM), is widened to nearly more than twice, compared with the reference gratings composed of the same number of periodic defects. We believe this work will find applications in biological or chemical sensing and novel optical devices.