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Proceedings Paper

Optimization of Al2O3:Er3+ waveguide technology for active integrated optical devices
Author(s): Kerstin Wörhoff; Jonathan Bradley; Feridun Ay; Dimitri Geskus; Tom Blauwendraat; Markus Pollnau
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Paper Abstract

Amorphous Al2O3 is a promising host material for active integrated optical applications such as tunable rare-earth-ion-doped laser and amplifier devices. The fabrication of slab and channel waveguides has been investigated and optimized by exploiting reactive co-sputtering and ICP reactive ion etching, respectively. The Al2O3 layers are grown reliably and reproducibly on thermally oxidized Si-wafers at deposition rates of 2-4 nm/min. Optical loss of as-deposited planar waveguides as low as 0.11±0.05 dB/cm at 1.5-μm wavelength has been demonstrated. The channel waveguide fabrication is based on BCl3/HBr chemistry in combination with standard photoresist and lithography processes. Upon process optimization channel waveguides with up to 600-nm etch depth, smooth side walls and optical losses as low as 0.21±0.05 dB/cm have been realized. Rare-earth-ion doping has been investigated by co-sputtering from a metallic Er target during Al2O3 layer growth. At the relevant dopant levels (~1020 cm-3) lifetimes of the 4I13/2 level as high as 7 ms have been measured. Gain measurements have been carried out over 6.4-cm propagation length in a 700-nm-thick Er-doped Al2O3 waveguide. Net optical gain has been obtained over a 35-nm-wide wavelength range (1525-1560 nm) with a maximum of 4.9 dB.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6996, Silicon Photonics and Photonic Integrated Circuits, 699618 (1 May 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.781066
Show Author Affiliations
Kerstin Wörhoff, Univ. of Twente (Netherlands)
Jonathan Bradley, Univ. of Twente (Netherlands)
Feridun Ay, Univ. of Twente (Netherlands)
Dimitri Geskus, Univ. of Twente (Netherlands)
Tom Blauwendraat, Univ. of Twente (Netherlands)
Markus Pollnau, Univ. of Twente (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6996:
Silicon Photonics and Photonic Integrated Circuits
Giancarlo C. Righini; Seppo K. Honkanen; Lorenzo Pavesi; Laurent Vivien, Editor(s)

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