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Photonic-crystal-waveguide based Mach-Zehnder interferometer for terahertz switch and modulator

Wang Chang-Hui Zhao Guo-Hua Chang Sheng-Jiang

Photonic-crystal-waveguide based Mach-Zehnder interferometer for terahertz switch and modulator

Wang Chang-Hui, Zhao Guo-Hua, Chang Sheng-Jiang
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  • Received Date:  08 October 2011
  • Accepted Date:  25 December 2011
  • Published Online:  05 August 2012

Photonic-crystal-waveguide based Mach-Zehnder interferometer for terahertz switch and modulator

  • 1. Institute of Modern Optics, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China;
  • 2. Element 90, No. 73146 Troop, PLA, Quanzhou 362321, China
Fund Project:  Project supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2011AA010205), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61171027), the Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin, China (Grant No. 10JCZDJC15200), and the Doctoral Fund of Ministry of Education of China (Grant No. 20090031110033).

Abstract: We propose a novel tunable photonic crystal (PC) waveguide Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) based on nematic liquid crystals (LCs) 5CB and investigate its interference properties numerically by using the finite-difference time-domain method. We can change the refractive index of LC by rotating the directors of the LC molecules. The line defect modes of the PC waveguide with different liquid crystal refractive indices are analyzed by using the plane wave expansion method. Owing to the slow group velocity region of the line defect mode, when the index of 5CB changes from 1.53 to 1.63, the variation of the effective index of the line defect mode arrives at 0.168. This property helps to significantly control the phase of light propagation in a PC waveguide MZI. The novel interferometer can be used as either an optically controlled on-off switch or an amplitude modulator in optical circuits.

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