Abstract

Physical insight into the propagation characteristics of periodically segmented waveguides can be obtained by viewing the guiding layer as a thin slab of an idealized infinite medium with periodic layers along the direction of propagation. One can analyze the properties of this infinite medium using a formal analogy with the Kronig–Penney model used to describe the propagation of electron wave functions in a periodic crystal potential. The model correctly gives the effective refractive index of the layer, gives insight into the electric field profiles at different points on the dispersion curve, and leads to a qualitative explanation of why the optical loss diminishes at both large and small duty cycles.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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