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Opt Express. 2010 Jul 19;18(15):16064-73. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.016064.

Planar photonic crystal cavities with far-field optimization for high coupling efficiency and quality factor.

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Dipartimento di Fisica A. Volta, Università di Pavia, via Bassi 6, 27100 Pavia, Italy.


Different types of planar photonic crystal cavities aimed at optimizing the far-field emission pattern are designed and experimentally assessed by resonant scattering measurements. We systematically investigate the interplay between achieving the highest possible quality (Q) factor and maximizing the in- and out-coupling efficiency into a narrow emission cone. Cavities operate at telecommunications wavelengths, i.e. around approximately 1.55 microm, and are realized in silicon membranes. A strong modification of the far-field emission pattern, and therefore a substantial increase of the coupling efficiency in the vertical direction, is obtained by properly modifying the holes around L3, L5 and L7 type PhC cavities, as we predict theoretically and show experimentally. An optimal compromise yielding simultaneously a high Q-factor and a large coupling to the fundamental cavity mode is found for a L7-type cavity with a measured Q congruent with 62000, whose resonant scattering efficiency is improved by about two orders of magnitude with respect to the unmodified structure. These results are especially useful for prospective applications in light emitting devices, such as nano-lasers or single-photon sources, in which vertical in- and out-coupling of the electromagnetic field is necessarily required.

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