Photonic crystal waveguide analysis using interface boundary conditions

Emanuel Istrate*, Edward H. Sargent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Devices based on combinations of photonic bandgap materials are understood intuitively in terms of the dispersion relations of the constituent periodic and locally homogeneous media. Quantitatively, though, photonic crystal-based devices are analyzed using numerical simulations which take no advantage of the a priori understanding of underlying periodic building-block materials. Here we unite the quantitative and qualitative pictures of photonic crystal devices and their design. We describe photonic crystals as effective media and impose boundary conditions between photonic crystals and homogeneous materials. We express optical field profiles as superpositions of plane waves in the homogeneous parts and propagating or decaying Bloch modes in the crystals, connected by transmission, reflection, and diffraction coefficients at the interfaces. We calculate waveguide modes, coupling lengths in directional couplers, and coupling between waveguides and point defects, achieving agreements of approximately 1% in frequencies and around 2% in quality factors. We use the new approach to optimize waveguide properties in a forward-going method, instead of the usual iterative optimizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-467
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Cavity resonators
  • Electromagnetic scattering by periodic structures
  • Interface phenomena
  • Optical directional couplers
  • Optical propagation in nonhomogeneous media
  • Optical waveguide theory
  • Periodic structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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