Planar waveguides with less than 0.1 dB/m propagation loss fabricated with wafer bonding

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.
Optics Express (Impact Factor: 3.49). 11/2011; 19(24):24090-101. DOI: 10.1364/OE.19.024090
Source: PubMed


We demonstrate a wafer-bonded silica-on-silicon planar waveguide platform with record low total propagation loss of (0.045 ± 0.04) dB/m near the free space wavelength of 1580 nm. Using coherent optical frequency domain reflectometry, we characterize the group index, fiber-to-chip coupling loss, critical bend radius, and propagation loss of these waveguides.

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    • "Nevertheless, complex devices with much smaller bend radii and measured propagation loss <0.5 dB/cm in C-band [35] and <0.7 dB/cm in O-band [36] have been demonstrated. For even lower losses, one can turn to the Si 3 N 4 waveguide platform that offers more than two orders of magnitude lower propagation loss (as low as 0.045 dB/m) [37]. The Si 3 N 4 waveguides can readily be integrated with the silicon platform with coupling losses between 0.4-0.8 "

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    • "Reducing the index contrast increases the mode size and this can be very effective in lowering optical loss. Losses as low as 2.7 dB/m have been demonstrated in silicon waveguides [10], and, by applying the technique to nitride waveguides, losses as low as 0.045 dB/m can be achieved [12]. Lowering the effective index contrast does have the disadvantage of leading to much larger structures, however. "
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    • "In strip waveguides, losses are meanwhile approaching 0.2 dB/mm [21]. (Remark: In ridge waveguides with lower mode confinement losses are below 0.2 dB/mm [22] and in planar waveguides with very weak guiding even record low losses of 0.1 dB/m have been reported [23]). Phaseshifters with polymer cladding [24] and with liquid crystals [25] have been demonstrated with strip waveguides, but the large separation of the contact electrodes used for modulation, which is typically a few microns require relatively high driving voltages. "
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