A systematic experimental and numerical study of the device performance of waveguide-coupled SiON microresonators with air and polymer cladding is presented. Values of device parameters like propagation losses of the microresonator modes, the off-resonance insertion losses, and the straight waveguide to microresonator coupling are determined by applying a detailed fitting procedure to the experimental results and compared to results of detailed numerical simulations. By comparing the propagation losses of the fundamental TE polarized microresonator mode obtained by fitting to the measured spectra to the also experimentally determined propagation losses in the adjacent straight waveguide and the materials losses,it is possible to identify the loss mechanisms in the microresonator. By comparing experimental results for microresonators with air and polymethylmethacrylate cladding and a detailed numerical study, the influence of the cladding index on the bend losses is evaluated. It is demonstrated that the presence of an upper cladding can, under the right conditions, actually be beneficial for loss reduction.
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