The importance of polarization manipulation is increased as optical fiber systems evolve to higher data rates. Photonic integrated circuits should be insensitive to the state of polarization of the light emanating from fibers if they are to be used as detectors, add-drop mutiplexers or cross connects. Either all the integrated components have to be polarization independent or only one polarization direction should be used. For either method, a compact polarization converter is useful. A model is developed for the mode propagation in the waveguide of the slanted side polarization converter based on double hetero structures. The model is extended to include polarization dependent absorption and mismatch. Polarization converters on different double heterostructures (with and without quantum wells) have been designed and are realized by contact optical lithography. The performance of the realized converters is well described with the model.