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Radiation Properties of an Integrated Optical Leaky Wave Antenna with Periodic Silicon Perturbations


We propose a highly directive optical leaky wave antenna (OLWA) radiating at 1550 nm composed of a dielectric waveguide comprising periodic silicon (Si) perturbations. The antenna working principle is based on the excitation of a leaky wave guided mode in the perturbed waveguide. Here we study the radiation properties for two sets of perturbation dimensions, and show beam scanning capabilities of the antenna (radiation level and direction) at broadside by varying the free space wavelength. Moreover, the use of Si offers the electronic/optical tunability of its complex refractive index by excess electron-hole carrier density generation via current injection (electronic control) or optical absorption (optical control). Therefore, by changing the Si refractive index we vary the leaky wave attenuation constant and the input impedance of the antenna, which in turn allow for beam control capabilities. © 2012 IEEE.

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