Optical Waveguide Modes

  • Robert G. Hunsperger
Part of the Springer Series in Optical Sciences book series (SSOS, volume 33)


The optical waveguide is the fundamental element that interconnects the various devices of an optical integrated circuit, just as a metallic strip does in an electrical integrated circuit. However, unlike electrical current that flows through a metal strip according to Ohm’s law, optical waves travel in the waveguide in distinct optical modes. A mode, in this sense, is a spatial distribution of optical energy in one or more dimensions. In this chapter, the concept of optical modes in a waveguiding structure is discussed qualitatively, and key results of waveguide theory are presented with minimal proof to give the reader a general understanding of the nature of light propagation in an optical waveguide. Then, in Chap. 3, a mathematically sound development of waveguide theory is given.


Mode Shape Gallium Arsenide Waveguide Mode Total Internal Reflection Planar Waveguide 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert G. Hunsperger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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