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Micromachines 2012, 3(1), 36-44; doi:10.3390/mi3010036

Design of an Angle Detector for Laser Beams Based on Grating Coupling

1 Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019, USA 2 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 December 2011 / Revised: 21 January 2012 / Accepted: 21 January 2012 / Published: 1 February 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-photonic Devices)
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A novel angle detector for laser beams is designed in this paper. It takes advantage of grating coupling to couple the incident light into a slab waveguide; and, the incident light’s angle can be determined by reading the outputs of light detectors within the waveguide. This device offers fast-responding on-chip detection of laser beam’s angle. Compared to techniques based on quadrant photodiodes or lateral effect photodiodes, the device in this paper has far greater detectable range (up to a few degrees, to be specific). Performance of the laser angle detector in this paper is demonstrated by finite-difference-time-domain simulations. Numerical results show that, the detectable angle range can be adjusted by several design parameters and can reach [−4°, 4°]. The laser beam angle detector in this paper is expected to find various applications such as ultra-fast optical interconnects.
Keywords: diffraction gratings; guided waves; laser beam steering diffraction gratings; guided waves; laser beam steering
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Saha, T.K.; Lu, M.; Ma, Z.; Zhou, W. Design of an Angle Detector for Laser Beams Based on Grating Coupling. Micromachines 2012, 3, 36-44.

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