Abstract

Next-generation passive optical networks require integrated, polarization-insensitive wavelength-division multiplexing solutions, for which the recently emerging low-loss silicon nitride nanophotonic platforms hold great potential. A novel polarization-insensitive arrayed waveguide grating (AWG) built with silicon nitride waveguides is presented in this Letter. Polarization insensitivity is obtained when both the channel spacing and the center wavelength of the two orthogonal polarization states (i.e., the TE and TM waveguide modes) are simultaneously aligned. In our design, the channel spacing alignment between the polarization states is obtained by optimizing the geometry of the arrayed waveguides, whereas the central wavelength polarization insensitivity is obtained by splitting the two polarization states and adjusting their angle of incidence at the input star coupler to compensate for the polarization mode dispersion of the AWG. A 100 GHz 1×8 wavelength-division multiplexer with crosstalk levels below 16dB is demonstrated experimentally.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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