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Sci Rep. 2012;2:674. Epub 2012 Sep 19.

Linear and passive silicon optical isolator.

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Laboratory of Optical Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China.


On-chip optical isolation plays a key role in optical communications and computing based on silicon integrated photonic structures and has attracted great attentions for long years. Recently there have appeared hot controversies upon whether isolation of light can be realized via linear and passive photonic structures. Here we demonstrate optical isolation of infrared light in purely linear and passive silicon photonic structures. Both numerical simulations and experimental measurements show that the round-trip transmissivity of in-plane infrared light across a silicon photonic crystal slab heterojunction diode could be two orders of magnitudes smaller than the forward transmissivity at around 1,550 nm with a bandwidth of about 50 nm, indicating good performance of optical isolation. The occurrence of in-plane light isolation is attributed to the information dissipation due to off-plane and side-way scattering and selective modal conversion in the multiple-channel structure and has no conflict with the reciprocal principle.

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