We propose a three-dimensional (3D) long-period grating structure that has a controllable grating width and depth and can be formed at any chosen position on the surface of a waveguide core with a single photolithography process. The process relies on the partial etching of small structures on the surface of a polymer waveguide through a waveguide mask with narrow apertures that define the grating pattern. The 3D grating structure allows the design of mode converters for any nondegenerate guided modes of a waveguide, regardless of their symmetry properties, and thus relaxes the design constraint of conventional two-dimensional waveguide gratings. To show the flexibility of the 3D grating structure, we present several mode converters fabricated with this structure. The mode-conversion efficiencies achieved are higher than 90% at the resonance wavelengths. In addition, we demonstrate a three-mode multiplexer by integrating a grating-based mode converter with two asymmetric directional couplers. The proposed grating structure together with the fabrication process can greatly facilitate the development of grating-based devices, especially for MDM applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics