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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 18, Iss. 24 — Nov. 22, 2010
  • pp: 25283–25291

Low-loss amorphous silicon wire waveguide for integrated photonics: effect of fabrication process and the thermal stability

Shiyang Zhu, G. Q. Lo, and D. L. Kwong  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 24, pp. 25283-25291 (2010)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.18.025283


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Abstract

Hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) wire waveguides were fabricated by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition and anisotropic dry etching. With the optimized fabrication process, the propagation losses of as low as 3.2 ± 0.2 dB/cm for the TE mode and 2.3 ± 0.1 dB/cm for the TM mode were measured for the 200 nm (height) × 500 nm (width) wire waveguides at 1550 nm using the standard cutback method. The loss becomes larger at shorter wavelength (~4.4 dB/cm for TE and ~5.0 dB/cm for TM at 1520 nm) and smaller at longer wavelength (~1.9 dB/cm for TE and ~1.4 dB/cm for TM at 1620 nm). With the waveguide width shrinking from 500 nm to 300 nm, the TM mode loss keeps almost unchanged whereas the TE mode loss increases, indicating that the predominant loss contributor is the waveguide sidewall roughness, similar to the crystalline silicon waveguides. Although the a-Si:H and the upper cladding SiO2 were both deposited at 400°C, the propagation loss of the fabricated a-Si:H wire waveguides starts to increase upon furnace annealing under atmosphere at a temperature larger than 300°C: ~13–15 dB/cm after 400°C/30 min annealing and >70 dB/cm after 500°C/30 min annealing, which can be attributed to hydrogen out-diffusion. Even higher temperature (i.e., >600°C) annealing leads to the propagation loss approaching to the polycrystalline silicon counterparts (~40-50 dB/cm) due to onset of a-Si:H solid-phase crystallization.

© 2010 OSA

OCIS Codes
(130.3120) Integrated optics : Integrated optics devices
(230.3990) Optical devices : Micro-optical devices
(230.7370) Optical devices : Waveguides

ToC Category:
Integrated Optics

History
Original Manuscript: August 18, 2010
Revised Manuscript: September 30, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: October 8, 2010
Published: November 18, 2010

Citation
Shiyang Zhu, G. Q. Lo, and D. L. Kwong, "Low-loss amorphous silicon wire waveguide for integrated photonics: effect of fabrication process and the thermal stability," Opt. Express 18, 25283-25291 (2010)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-18-24-25283


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