High-index-contrast, wavelength-scale structures are key to ultracompact integration of photonic integrated circuits. The fabrication of these nanophotonic structures in silicon-on-insulator using complementary metal-oxide-seminconductor processing techniques, including deep ultraviolet lithography, was studied. It is concluded that this technology is capable of commercially manufacturing nanophotonic integrated circuits. The possibilities of photonic wires and photonic-crystal waveguides for photonic integration are compared. It is shown that, with similar fabrication techniques, photonic wires perform at least an order of magnitude better than photonic-crystal waveguides with respect to propagation losses. Measurements indicate propagation losses as low as 0.24 dB/mm for photonic wires but 7.5 dB/mm for photonic-crystal waveguides.
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