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Opt Express. 2009 Sep 14;17(19):16632-45. doi: 10.1364/OE.17.016632.

Chip-scale spectrometry based on tapered hollow Bragg waveguides.

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ECE Dept., University of Alberta, 2nd Floor, 9107-116 St. N.W., Edmonton, AB, Canada, T6G 2V4.


We describe a micro-spectrometer that exploits out-of-plane radiation at mode cutoff in a tapered leaky waveguide clad by omnidirectional Bragg reflectors. The device can be viewed as a side-coupled, tapered Fabry-Perot cavity. An effective-index transfer-matrix model reveals that optimal resolution is dependent on the reduction or mitigation of back-reflection and standing waves leading up to the cutoff point. We address this by insertion of low numerical aperture optics between the taper and the detector, and demonstrate an experimental resolution as small as approximately 1 nm and operating bandwidth >100 nm in the 1550 nm range, from a tapered waveguide with footprint approximately 50 microm x 500 microm. The device combines the small size of a Fabry-Perot instrument with the detector array compatibility and fixed optics of a grating-based instrument.

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