Near-field characterization of propagating optical modes in photonic crystal waveguides

Maxim Abashin*, Pierpasquale Tortora, Iwan Märki, Uriel Levy, Wataru Nakagawa, Luciana Vaccaro, Hans Peter Herzig, Yeshaiahu Fainman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


We analyze the propagating optical modes in a Silicon membrane photonic crystal waveguide, based on subwavelength-resolution amplitude and phase measurements of the optical fields using a heterodyne near-field scanning optical microscope (H-NSOM). Fourier analysis of the experimentally obtained optical amplitude and phase data permits identification of the propagating waveguide modes, including the direction of propagation (in contrast to intensity-only measurement techniques). This analysis reveals the presence of two superposed propagating modes in the waveguide. The characteristics of each mode are determined and found to be consistent with theoretical predictions within the limits of fabrication tolerances. An analysis of the relative amplitudes of these two modes as a function of wavelength show periodic oscillation with a period of approximately 3.3 nm. The coupling efficiency between the ridge waveguide and the photonic crystal waveguide is also estimated and found to be consistent with the internal propagating mode characteristics. The combination of high-sensitivity amplitude and phase measurements, subwavelength spatial resolution, and appropriate interpretive techniques permits the in-situ observation of the optical properties of the device with an unprecedented level of detail, and facilitates the characterization and optimization of nanostructure-based photonic devices and systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1643-1657
Number of pages15
JournalOptics Express
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


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