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Opt Express. 2011 Aug 1;19(16):14845-51. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.014845.

Electron spin polarization-based integrated photonic devices.

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  • 1Department of Applied Physics, University of Michigan, 450 Church Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


The lack of optical isolators has limited the serial integration of components in the development of photonic integrated circuits. Isolators are inherently nonreciprocal and, as such, require nonreciprocal optical propagation. We propose a class of integrated photonic devices that make use of electrically-generated electron spin polarization in semiconductors to cause nonreciprocal TE/TM mode conversion. Active control over the non-reciprocal mode coupling rate allows for the design of electrically-controlled isolators, circulators, modulators and switches. We analyze the effects of waveguide birefringence and absorption loss as limiting factors to device performance.

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