Fabrication of microphotonic waveguide components on silicon

Author
Kimmo Solehmainen
Year
2007
Abstract & Cover

This thesis reports on the development of silicon-based microphotonic waveguide components, which are targeted in future optical telecommunication networks. The aim of the work was to develop the fabrication of silicon microphotonics using standard clean room processes which enable high volume production. The waveguide processing was done using photolithography and etching. The default waveguide structure was the rib-type, with the waveguide thickness varying from 2 to 10 µm. Most of the work was done with silicon-oninsulator (SOI) wafers, in which the waveguide core was formed of silicon. However, the erbium-doped waveguides were realised using aluminium oxide grown with atomic layer deposition. In the multi-step processing, the basic SOI rib waveguide structure was provided with additional trenches and steps, which offers more flexibility to the realisation of photonic integrated circuits. The experimental results included the low propagation loss of 0.13 and 0.35 dB/cm for SOI waveguides with 9 and 4 µm thicknesses, respectively. The first demonstration of adiabatic couplers in SOI resulted in optical loss of 0.5 dB/coupler and a broad spectral range. An arrayed waveguide grating showed a total loss of 5.5 dB. The work with SOI waveguides resulted also in a significant reduction of bending loss when using multi-step processing. In addition, a SOI waveguide mirror exhibited optical loss below 1 dB/90° and a vertical taper component between 10 and 4 µm thick waveguides had a loss of 0.7 dB. A converter between a rib and a strip SOI waveguides showed a negligible loss of 0.07 dB. In the Er-doped Al2O3 waveguides a strong Erinduced absorption was measured. This indicates potential for amplification applications, once a more uniform Er doping profile is achieved. 

Source of Information
FinALD40 exhibition material, http://www.aldcoe.fi/events/finald40.pdf
University
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland / Helsinki University of Technology
(Oulu/Espoo?, Finland)
External Link
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