An integrated optical polarization splitter has been fabricated by utilizing the photobleaching-induced birefringence in an azo dye polymer. It consists of a Y-branch waveguide formed by the reactive ion etching with one of the two arms photobleached. The refractive index of the photobleached arm is decreased for the TE mode and increased for the TM mode. The performance of the splitter was measured as a function of the energy of the photobleaching beam and compared to a wave propagation simulation of the device. The measured cross talks are less than -28 dB for the TM mode and -24 dB for the TE mode at a wavelength of 1310 nm. The measured excess losses for the TE and TM modes, which measure the effect of the Y branch and the photobleaching, are 0.3 and 0.4 dB, respectively. The insertion loss was 5 dB, which includes the input fiber to waveguide coupling loss.
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