27 December 2001 Fabrication of polymer waveguide tapers to minimize insertion loss
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Abstract
Polymer based electro-optic (EO) modulators and other integrated optic devices have the potential to provide low cost and lightweight alternative for high-speed digital as well as analog RF links. To be truly competitive with existing technologies such as LiNbO3, EO polymer modulators must also meet the criteria of low loss. There are two major causes of loss in EO modulators: waveguide loss (including material loss, scattering, etc.), and fiber- to-waveguide coupling (butting) loss. Various techniques can be utilized to minimize these coupling losses, however, to maintain low cost of component, we resort to the simplest possible approach which is easy to manufacture. Pigtails using standard single mode fiber produce coupling loss on the order of 3 to 5 dB/connection. In order to improve mode size matching yet maintain low drive voltage we incorporate waveguide and fibers tapers. Waveguide tapers resulted to butting losses as low as 1.5 dB/connection, whereas fiber tapers resulted to 2.5 dB/connection butting losses. Combining both techniques together, it was possible to produce 1.3 dB/connection butting loss, however, tapered waveguide devices were less sensitive to alignment tolerance than tapered fiber devices, and therefore less sensitive to environmental conditions.
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Araz Yacoubian, Weiping Lin, James H. Bechtel, "Fabrication of polymer waveguide tapers to minimize insertion loss", Proc. SPIE 4490, Multifrequency Electronic/Photonic Devices and Systems for Dual-Use Applications, (27 December 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.455440; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.455440
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