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Proceedings Paper

Developments in laser processing for silica-based planar lightwave circuits
Author(s): Y. Nasu; M. Abe; M. Kohtoku
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Paper Abstract

Laser processing offers an attractive way of manufacturing both optical and biomedical devices including microfluidic channels and biochips. Laser processing is also promising for the fabrication and trimming of silica-based planar lightwave circuits (PLCs). PLCs are key functional components for use in optical telecommunication systems since they offer compactness and high functionality in addition to excellent stability. A laser light that strongly interacts with glass, such as ultraviolet (UV) light or femtosecond pulses, can increase the refractive index of glass. This phenomenon can be used to improve the performance of PLCs as well as to enhance their functionality. UV laser trimming is useful in that it can be used to change the refractive index of fabricated waveguides and thus compensate for fabrication errors. Fabrication errors have various detrimental effects on PLC performance including deviation from the designed wavelength, polarization dependence and crosstalk degradation. UV laser trimming can greatly improve PLC performance by compensating for these errors. In addition, laser processing can provide PLCs with new functionalities. For example, a UV laser can be used to produce band-reflection mirrors in external cavity lasers in PLCs. Direct waveguide writing is also an attractive way to enhance circuit layout flexibility. Recently, a femtosecond laser was found to be effective for writing 3-dimensional waveguides, and it can also be used to interconnect waveguides flexibly. This enables us to expand PLC geometry from two to three dimensions. This talk will review trends in laser processing for PLC fabrication and recent R and D topics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 February 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6107, Laser-based Micropackaging, 61070B (23 February 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.647759
Show Author Affiliations
Y. Nasu, NTT Corp. (Japan)
M. Abe, NTT Corp. (Japan)
M. Kohtoku, NTT Corp. (Japan)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6107:
Laser-based Micropackaging
Friedrich G. Bachmann; Willem Hoving; Yongfeng Lu; Kunihiko Washio, Editor(s)

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