We demonstrate how to design thin-film multilayer structures that separate multiple wavelength channels with a single stack by spatial dispersion, thus allowing compact manufacturable wavelength multiplexers and demultiplexers and possibly beam-steering or dispersion-control devices. We discuss four types of structure—periodic one-dimensional photonic crystal superprism structures, double-chirped structures exploiting wavelength-dependent penetration depth, coupled-cavity structures with dispersion that is due to stored energy, and numerically optimized nonperiodic structures utilizing a mixture of the other dispersion effects. We experimentally test the spatial dispersion of a 200-layer periodic structure and a 66-layer nonperiodic structure. Probably because of its greater design freedom, the nonperiodic structure can give both a linear shift with wavelength and a larger usable shift than the thicker periodic structure gives.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: August 8, 2002
Revised Manuscript: November 6, 2002
Published: March 1, 2003
Martina Gerken and David A. B. Miller, "Multilayer thin-film structures with high spatial dispersion," Appl. Opt. 42, 1330-1345 (2003)