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Sci Rep. 2015 Feb 24;5:8568. doi: 10.1038/srep08568.

Supersymmetry-inspired non-Hermitian optical couplers.

Author information

1
1] Waves Group, Department of Engineering, University of Sannio, I-82100, Benevento, Italy [2] Optoelectronic Division, Department of Engineering, University of Sannio, I-82100, Benevento, Italy.
2
Waves Group, Department of Engineering, University of Sannio, I-82100, Benevento, Italy.
3
Optoelectronic Division, Department of Engineering, University of Sannio, I-82100, Benevento, Italy.

Abstract

Supersymmetry has been shown to provide a systematic and effective framework for generating classes of isospectral optical structures featuring perfectly-phase-matched modes, with the exception of one (fundamental) mode which can be removed. More recently, this approach has been extended to non-Hermitian scenarios characterized by spatially-modulated distributions of optical loss and gain, in order to allow the removal of higher-order modes as well. In this paper, we apply this approach to the design of non-Hermitian optical couplers with higher-order mode-selection functionalities, with potential applications to mode-division multiplexing in optical links. In particular, we highlight the critical role of the coupling between non-Hermitian optical waveguides, which generally induces a phase transition to a complex eigenspectrum, thereby hindering the targeted mode-selection functionality. With the specific example of an optical coupler that selects the second-order mode of a given waveguide, we illustrate the aforementioned limitations and propose possible strategies to overcome them, bearing in mind the practical feasibility of the gain levels required.

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