Tapered acoustical directional couplers for integrated acousto-optical mode converters with weighted coupling
Weighted coupling for strong sidelobe suppression of integrated acoustooptical mode converters in LiNbO3 using acoustical directional couplers has been studied theoretically and experimentally. A parameter free model for the propagation of surface acoustic waves in guiding structures has been developed based on a step-like variation of the acoustic velocity. Comparisons of theoretical results with experimental ones for acoustic waveguides and directional coupler structures confirm the applicability of the model. A coupled mode description of the acousto-optical polarization conversion in converters with acoustical directional couplers has been developed and applied to several tapered acoustical directional couplers. The model reveals that the conversion characteristics are usually strongly asymmetric. If the directional coupler is appropriately designed, a sidelobe suppression of about 30 dB can be achieved. First experimental results with tapered directional couplers confirm within some limits the theoretical predictions.