Silica-on-silicon erbium-doped waveguide amplifiers (EDWAs) fabricated by the sol-gel route are demonstrated. The preparation of stable sols is first described, with emphasis on identifying chemical routes that allow the incorporation of sufficient concentration of erbium without precipitation or gelation. Erbium-doped glasses containing various codopants, such as phosphorus, aluminum, germanium and ytterbium are formed and used in the construction of buried channel guide EDWAs. A range of optical measurements is presented, and the effects of the dopants in eliminating erbium ion quenching and improving pumping efficiency are evaluated. The best material system-Er/Yb codoped aluminophosphosilicate glass-has low background loss and a net gain of 1.1 dB/cm.
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