L. Liu and Z. Zhou
Japanese Journal of Applied Physics 56, 04CA01 (2017)
High performance couplers are highly desired in many applications, but the design is limited by nearly unchangeable material refractive index. To tackle this issue, refractive index engineering method is investigated, which can be realized by subwavelength grating. Subwavelength gratings are periodical structures with pitches small enough to locally synthesize the refractive index of photonic waveguides, which allows direct control of optical profile as well as easier fabrication process. This review provides an introduction to the basics of subwavelength structures and pay special attention to the design strategies of some representative examples of subwavelength grating devices, including: edge couplers, fiber-chip grating couplers, directional couplers and multimode interference couplers. Benefited from the subwavelength grating which can engineer the refractive index as well as birefringence and dispersion, these devices show better performance when compared to their conventional counterparts.