Flat-top interleavers based on single MMIs

Matteo Cherchi (Corresponding author), Fei Sun, Markku Kapulainen, Mikko Harjanne, Timo Aalto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate for the first time flat-top interleavers based on cascaded Mach-Zehnder interferometers (MZIs) which use only single multimode interferometers (MMIs) as power splitters. Our previous designs were based on 4-stage cascades of MZIs, where we used single MMIs and double MMIs to achieve 85:15 splitting ratio and 31:69 splitting ratio respectively. This time, we propose instead a greatly simplified 2-stage configuration using only single MMIs, including a standard 50:50 MMI, and two tapered MMIs to achieve 71:29 and 92:08 splitting ratios. We have designed the interleaver based on its geometrical representation on the Bloch sphere, then confirmed by efficient 2D simulations of the building blocks and of the whole structure, based on the eigenmode expansion method. We show how important is to take into account the phase relations between the outputs of all MMIs in order to make a working design. We have successfully fabricated devices with different channel spacing on our micron-scale silicon photonics platform, and measurement results confirmed their expected flat-top operation on a broad band. Using only single MMI splitters we can not only greatly outperform the bandwidth achieved by standard directional couplers, but we can also ensure much higher robustness to fabrication errors, also compared to previous demonstrations based on double MMIs. Indeed, when compared to those previous attempts, the new results prove tapered MMIs to be the most robust approach to achieve arbitrary splitting ratios.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSilicon Photonics XV
EditorsGraham T. Reed, Andrew P. Knights
Place of PublicationBellingham
PublisherInternational Society for Optics and Photonics SPIE
ISBN (Print)978-1-5106-3333-9
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventSilicon Photonics XV 2020 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 3 Feb 20206 Feb 2020

Publication series

SeriesProceedings of SPIE


ConferenceSilicon Photonics XV 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Flat-top filters
  • Multimode interference splitters
  • Photonic integrated circuits
  • Silicon photonics
  • WDM filters


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