A compact antiresonant-reflecting-optical-waveguide- (ARROW-) type vertical coupler for three-dimensional optical interconnects was demonstrated. The coupler consists of stacked ARROW’s channeled by the stripe lateral confinement structure, and each waveguide is completely separated by a thin metal film in the separation region. In the coupling region the intermediate cladding of a previous coupler was made of the same material as that of the first cladding or the core. However, we had to overcome the problem that both the high coupling efficiency and the large fabrication tolerance cannot be achieved simultaneously. Thus we incorporated an intermediate cladding made of a material different from that of the core and the first cladding. The refractive index and the thickness of the intermediate cladding were optimally designed to achieve large fabrication tolerance and a short coupling length with a high coupling efficiency. The coupling length was reduced from 4.1 to 0.8 mm, and a high coupling efficiency of 96% was experimentally demonstrated.
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