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Optical Engineering

In-Plane Scattering In Glass And Niobium Oxide Waveguides
Author(s): Gerald B. Brandt
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Paper Abstract

Scattered light which remains in an optical waveguide to be guided to the detector is an important limiting factor to the performance of integrated optical devices. In sputtered glass and niobium oxide wavegu ides the principal mechanisms for scattering are refractive index variations in the wave-guide and surface roughness of the waveguide. Theories for scattering from surface roughness, in the regime expected for these wavegu ides, predict that the wavelength variation of the scattering should be proportional to the inverse square of the wavelength. Theory for scattering from refractive index variations predicts a wavelength dependence ranging from inverse fourth power of the wavelength to no dependence upon wavelength, when the range of possible scattering diameters is varied from small to le ge with respect to the optical wavelength. Experiments on a number of relatively lossy wavegu ides indicate that there is little relation between overall waveguide loss and the magnitude of the scattering in the near forward direction. Furthermore, overall loss and in-plane scattering have different variations with wavelength suggesting that the mechanisms involved in loss and scat-tering are different. Waveguide surface preparation prior to sputtering ap-pears to be an important factor in determining overall quality, but more as it influences the bulk properties of the waveguide film than as a direct scattering mechanism. Homogeneity of the waveguide film appears to be the controlling factor in production of low scatter wavegu ides.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 February 1981
PDF: 3 pages
Opt. Eng. 20(1) doi: 10.1117/12.7972679
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 20, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Gerald B. Brandt, Westinghouse Research and Development Center (United States)


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