Author Affiliations
1 Photonics Research Group, Department of Information Technology, Ghent University - IMEC, Ghent, Belgium
2 Center for Nano- and Biophotonics (NB Photonics), Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
Long-distance light detection and ranging (LiDAR) applications require an aperture size in the order of 30 mm to project 200–300 m. To generate such collimated Gaussian beams from the surface of a chip, this work presents a novel waveguide antenna concept, which we call an “optical leaky fin antenna,” consisting of a tapered waveguide with a narrow vertical “fin” on top. The proposed structure (operating around λ=1.55 μm) overcomes fundamental fabrication challenges encountered in weak apodized gratings, the conventional method to create an off-chip wide Gaussian beam from a waveguide chip. We explore the design space of the antenna by scanning the relevant cross section parameters in a mode solver, and their sensitivity is examined. We also investigate the dispersion of the emission pattern and angle with the wavelength. The simulated design space is then used to construct and simulate an optical antenna to emit a collimated target intensity profile. Results show inherent robustness to crucial design parameters and indicate good scalability of the design. Possibilities and challenges to fabricate this device concept are also discussed. This novel antenna concept illustrates the possibility to integrate long optical antennas required for long-range solid-state LiDAR systems on a high-index contrast platform with a scalable fabrication method.
Photonics Research
2023, 11(9): 1570

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