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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Jan 28;94(3):033903. Epub 2005 Jan 25.

Extrinsic optical scattering loss in photonic crystal waveguides: role of fabrication disorder and photon group velocity.

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NTT Basic Research Laboratories, NTT Corporation, Atsugi, Japan.


Formulas are presented that provide clear physical insight into the phenomenon of extrinsic optical scattering loss in photonic crystal waveguides due to random fabrication imperfections such as surface roughness and disorder. Using a photon Green-function-tensor formalism, we derive explicit expressions for the backscattered and total transmission losses. Detailed calculations for planar photonic crystals yield extrinsic loss values in overall agreement with experimental measurements, including the full dispersion characteristics. We also report that loss in photonic crystal waveguides scales inversely with group velocity, at least, thereby raising serious questions about future low-loss applications based on operating frequencies that approach the photonic band edge.

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