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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 20 — Oct. 7, 2013
  • pp: 23376–23390

Silicon nitride based plasmonic components for CMOS back-end-of-line integration

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

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 20, pp. 23376-23390 (2013)

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Silicon nitride waveguides provide low propagation loss but weak mode confinement due to the relatively small refractive index contrast between the Si3N4 core and the SiO2 cladding. On the other hand, metal-insulator-metal (MIM) plasmonic waveguides offer strong mode confinement but large propagation loss. In this work, MIM-like plasmonic waveguides and passive devices based on horizontal Cu-Si3N4-Cu or Cu-SiO2-Si3N4-SiO2-Cu structures are integrated in the conventional Si3N4 waveguide circuits using standard CMOS backend processes, and are characterized around 1550-nm telecom wavelengths using the conventional fiber-waveguide-fiber method. The Cu-Si3N4(~100 nm)-Cu devices exhibit ~0.78-dB/μm propagation loss for straight waveguides, ~38% coupling efficiency with the conventional 1-μm-wide Si3N4 waveguide through a 2-μm-long taper coupler, ~0.2-dB bending loss for sharp 90° bends, and ~0.1-dB excess loss for ultracompact 1 × 2 and 1 × 4 power splitters. Inserting a ~10-nm SiO2 layer between the Si3N4 core and the Cu cover (i.e., the Cu-SiO2(~10 nm)-Si3N4(~100 nm)-SiO2(~10 nm)-Cu devices), the propagation loss and the coupling efficiency are improved to ~0.37 dB/μm and ~52% while the bending loss and the excess loss are degraded to ~3.2 dB and ~2.1 dB, respectively. These experimental results are roughly consistent with the numerical simulation results after taking the influence of possible imperfect fabrication into account. Ultracompact plasmonic ring resonators with 1-μm radius are demonstrated with an extinction ratio of ~18 dB and a quality factor of ~84, close to the theoretical prediction.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(130.3120) Integrated optics : Integrated optics devices
(230.4170) Optical devices : Multilayers
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons
(250.5403) Optoelectronics : Plasmonics

ToC Category:
Integrated Optics

Original Manuscript: June 11, 2013
Revised Manuscript: July 24, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: August 7, 2013
Published: September 25, 2013

Shiyang Zhu, G. Q. Lo, and D. L. Kwong, "Silicon nitride based plasmonic components for CMOS back-end-of-line integration," Opt. Express 21, 23376-23390 (2013)

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