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Proceedings Paper

Fabrication of low-loss ridge waveguides in z-cut lithium niobate by combination of ion implantation and UV picosecond laser micromachining
Author(s): M. Stolze; T. Herrmann; J. A. L'huillier
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Paper Abstract

Ridge waveguides in ferroelectric materials like LiNbO3 attended great interest for highly efficient integrated optical devices, for instance, electro-optic modulators, frequency converters and ring resonators. The main challenges are the realization of high index barrier towards the substrate and the processing of smooth ridges for minimized scattering losses. For fabricating ridges a variety of techniques, like chemical and wet etching as well as optical grade dicing, have been investigated in detail. Among them, laser micromachining offers a versatile and flexible processing technology, but up to now only a limited side wall roughness has been achieved by this technique. Here we report on laser micromachining of smooth ridges for low-loss optical waveguides in LiNbO3. The ridges with a top width of 7 µm were fabricated in z-cut LiNbO3 by a combination of UV picosecond micromachining and thermal annealing. The laser processing parameters show a strong influence on the achievable sidewall roughness of the ridges and were systematically investigated and optimized. Finally, the surface quality is further improved by an optimized thermal post-processing. The roughness of the ridges were analysed with confocal microscopy and the scattering losses were measured at an optical characterization wavelength of 632.8 nm by using the end-fire coupling method. In these investigations the index barrier was formed by multi-energy low dose oxygen ion implantation technology in a depth of 2.7 μm. With optimized laser processing parameters and thermal post-processing a scattering loss as low as 0.1 dB/cm has been demonstrated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 March 2016
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9759, Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics IX, 97590E (14 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2212497
Show Author Affiliations
M. Stolze, Photonik-Zentrum Kaiserslautern e.V. (Germany)
Research Ctr. Optimas (Germany)
T. Herrmann, Photonik-Zentrum Kaiserslautern e.V. (Germany)
Research Ctr. Optimas (Germany)
J. A. L'huillier, Photonik-Zentrum Kaiserslautern e.V. (Germany)
Research Ctr. Optimas (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9759:
Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics IX
Georg von Freymann; Winston V. Schoenfeld; Raymond C. Rumpf, Editor(s)

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