Abstract

We demonstrate millimeter-scale optical waveguide grating antennas with unidirectional emission for integrated optical phased arrays. Unidirectional emission eliminates the fundamental problem of blind spots in the element factor of a phased array caused by reflections of antenna radiation within the substrate. Over 90% directionality is demonstrated using a design consisting of two silicon nitride layers. Furthermore, the perturbation strength along the antenna is apodized to achieve uniform emission for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, on a millimeter scale. This allows for a high effective aperture and receiving efficiency. The emission profile of the measured 3 mm long antenna has a standard deviation of 8.65% of the mean. These antennas are state of the art and will allow for integrated optical phased arrays with blind-spot-free high transmission output power and high receiving efficiency for LIDAR and free-space communication systems.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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