19 March 1999 Process technologies of MPACVD planar waveguide devices and fiber attachment
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Abstract
Optical circuits based on low-loss glass waveguide on silicon are a practical and promising approach to integrate different functional components. Fiber attachment to planar waveguide provides a practical application for optical communications. Microwave Plasma Assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition (MPACVD) produces superior quality, low birefringence, low-loss, planar waveguides for integrated optical devices. Microwave plasma initiates the chemical vapor of SiCl4, GeCl4 and oxygen. A Ge-doped silica layer is thus deposited with a compatible high growth rate (i.e. 0.4 - 0.5 micrometer/min). Film properties are based on various parameters, such as chemical flow rates, chamber pressure and temperature, power level and injector design. The resultant refractive index can be varied between 1.46 (i.e. pure silica) and 1.60 (i.e. pure germania). Waveguides can be fabricated with any desired refractive index profile. Standard photolithography defines the waveguide pattern on a mask layer. The core layer is removed by plasma dry etch which has been investigated by both reactive ion etch (RIE) and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etch. Etch rates of 3000 - 4000 angstrom/min have been achieved using ICP compared to typical etch rates of 200 - 300 angstrom/min using conventional RIE. Planar waveguides offer good mode matching to optical fiber. A polished fiber end can be glued to the end facet of waveguide with a very low optical coupling loss. In addition, anisotropic etching of silicon V- grooves provides a passive alignment capability. Epoxy and solder were used to fix the fiber within the guiding groove. Several designs of waveguide-fiber attachment will be discussed.
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Cheng-Chung Li, Fan Qian, Robert Addison Boudreau, John R. Rowlette, Terry P. Bowen, "Process technologies of MPACVD planar waveguide devices and fiber attachment", Proc. SPIE 3630, Silicon-based Optoelectronics, (19 March 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.342778; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.342778
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