20 May 2009 Amorphous silicon as high index photonic material
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Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) photonics has become an attractive research topic within the area of integrated optics. This paper aims to fabricate SOI-structures for optical communication applications with lower costs compared to standard fabrication processes as well as to provide a higher flexibility with respect to waveguide and substrate material choice. Amorphous silicon is deposited on thermal oxidized silicon wafers with plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). The material is optimized in terms of optical light transmission and refractive index. Different a-Si:H waveguides with low propagation losses are presented. The waveguides were processed with CMOS-compatible fabrication technologies and standard DUV-lithography enabling high volume production. To overcome the large mode-field diameter mismatch between incoupling fiber and sub-μm waveguides three dimensional, amorphous silicon tapers were fabricated with a KOH etched shadow mask for patterning. Using ellipsometric and Raman spectroscopic measurements the material properties as refractive index, layer thickness, crystallinity and material composition were analyzed. Rapid thermal annealing (RTA) experiments of amorphous thin films and rib waveguides were performed aiming to tune the refractive index of the deposited a-Si:H waveguide core layer after deposition.
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T. Lipka, T. Lipka, A. Harke, A. Harke, O. Horn, O. Horn, J. Amthor, J. Amthor, J. Müller, J. Müller, } "Amorphous silicon as high index photonic material", Proc. SPIE 7366, Photonic Materials, Devices, and Applications III, 73661Z (20 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.821709; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.821709

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