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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 26 — Dec. 21, 2009
  • pp: 24175–24182

Thick optical waveguides in lithium niobate induced by swift heavy ions (~10 MeV/amu) at ultralow fluences

José Olivares, Miguel L. Crespillo, Olga Caballero-Calero, María D. Ynsa, Angel García-Cabañes, Marcel Toulemonde, Christina Trautmann, and Fernando Agulló-López  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 26, pp. 24175-24182 (2009)

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Heavy mass ions, Kr and Xe, having energies in the ~10 MeV/amu range have been used to produce thick planar optical waveguides at the surface of lithium niobate (LiNbO3). The waveguides have a thickness of 40-50 micrometers, depending on ion energy and fluence, smooth profiles and refractive index jumps up to 0.04 (λ = 633 nm). They propagate ordinary and extraordinary modes with low losses keeping a high nonlinear optical response (SHG) that makes them useful for many applications. Complementary RBS/C data provide consistent values for the partial amorphization and refractive index change at the surface. The proposed method is based on ion-induced damage caused by electronic excitation and essentially differs from the usual implantation technique using light ions (H and He) of MeV energies. It implies the generation of a buried low-index layer (acting as optical barrier), made up of amorphous nanotracks embedded into the crystalline lithium niobate crystal. An effective dielectric medium approach is developed to describe the index profiles of the waveguides. This first test demonstration could be extended to other crystalline materials and could be of great usefulness for mid-infrared applications.

© 2009 OSA

OCIS Codes
(130.2790) Integrated optics : Guided waves
(130.3120) Integrated optics : Integrated optics devices
(130.3730) Integrated optics : Lithium niobate

ToC Category:
Integrated Optics

Original Manuscript: October 13, 2009
Revised Manuscript: November 30, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: November 30, 2009
Published: December 18, 2009

José Olivares, Miguel L. Crespillo, Olga Caballero-Calero, María D. Ynsa, Angel García-Cabañes, Marcel Toulemonde, Christina Trautmann, and Fernando Agulló-López, "Thick optical waveguides in lithium niobate induced by swift heavy ions (~10 MeV/amu) at ultralow fluences," Opt. Express 17, 24175-24182 (2009)

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