A unified approach to coupled-mode phenomena

Amos A. Hardy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A unified approach is presented for the treatment of various coupled-mode phenomena in two parallel waveguides. This approach is summarized in a set of four coupled equations [see [8] or (12) in the paper], which is derived directly from Maxwell's equations. The equations are further simplified when applied to special cases such as evanescent coupling and gratingassisted coupling between parallel w{aveguides [e.g., reduced to a set of two equations). In particular, for evanescently coupled waveguides, the equations reduce to the familiar vectorial coupled-mode equations. For grating-assisted waveguides the equations agree with earlier treatments, although, in some cases, ma) include extra terms which were omitted previously. Considering the special case of perturbations in a single waveguide, the equations in the examples coincide with those given elsewhere in earlier works. The reduction to scalar equations or extension to multiwaveguide systems is straightforward.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1116
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1998


  • Coupled-mode analysis
  • Directional couplers
  • Optical coupling
  • Waveguide arrays
  • Waveguide couplers
  • Waveguide theory


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