We present a method for near-field analysis of ultrashort optical pulse propagation in periodic structures—including subwavelength and resonant grating structures—based on the integration of Fourier spectrum decomposition and rigorous coupled-wave analysis (RCWA). We discuss the spectral decomposition, including considerations for computational efficiency, the application of the RCWA method to compute the internal and external fields of the structure, and the synthesis of the resulting fields to obtain the time-domain solution. We apply this tool to the analysis of two photonic structures: (1) a nanostructured polarization-selective mirror that exhibits the desired broadband performance characteristics when operated at the design wavelength but yields strongly diminished polarization selectivity and modulation of the pulse envelope at an offset wavelength and (2) a two-mode coupled waveguide structure that produces from one incident pulse two transmitted pulses whose temporal separation depends on the waveguide geometry. In both examples, we apply our new modeling tool to investigate the near fields and find that near-field effects are critical in determining the performance characteristics of nanostructured devices. Furthermore, detailed observation and understanding of near-field phenomena in nanostructures may be applied to the design of novel photonic devices.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
(050.1970) Diffraction and gratings : Diffractive optics
(230.3990) Optical devices : Micro-optical devices
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices
(350.5500) Other areas of optics : Propagation
Wataru Nakagawa, Rong-Chung Tyan, Pang-Chen Sun, Fang Xu, and Yeshaiahu Fainman, "Ultrashort pulse propagation in near-field periodic diffractive structures by use of rigorous coupled-wave analysis," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 1072-1081 (2001)