Abstract

The fabrication restrictions that must be imposed on the geometry of optical waveguides to make them behave as single-mode devices are well known for relatively large waveguides, with shallow etch depth. However, the restrictions for small waveguides (\sim 1 ~µm or less in cross section) are not well understood. Furthermore,it is usually a requirement that these waveguides are polarization independent,which further complicates the issues. This paper reports on the simulations of the conditions for both single-mode behavior and polarization independence,for small and deeply etched silicon-on-insulator (SOI) waveguides. The aim is to satisfy both conditions simultaneously. The results show that at larger waveguide widths, waveguide etch depth has little effect on the mode birefringence because the transverse-electric (TE) mode (horizontal-polarized mode) is well confined under the rib region. However, at smaller rib widths, the etch depth has a large influence on birefringence. An approximate equation relating the rib-waveguide width and etch depth to obtain polarization-independent operation is derived. It is possible to achieve single-mode operation at both polarizations while maintaining polarization independence for each of the waveguide heights used in this paper but may be difficult for other dimensions. For example,a 1-µm SOI rib waveguide with an etch depth of 0.64 µm and rib width of 0.52 µm is predicted to exhibit such characteristics.

© 2005 IEEE

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Opt. Express (1)

Other (18)

R. A. Soref, J. Schmidtchen and K. Petermann, "Large single-mode rib waveguides in Ge-Si and Si-on-SiO2", IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol. 27, no. 8, pp. 1971-1974, Aug. 1991.

S. P. Pogossian, L. Vescan and A. Vonsovici, "The single-mode condition for semiconductor rib waveguides with large cross section", J. Lightw. Technol., vol. 16, no. 10, pp. 1851-1853, Oct. 1998.

O. Powell, "Single-mode condition for silicon rib waveguides", J. Lightw. Technol., vol. 20, no. 10, pp. 1851-1855, Oct. 2002.

L. Vivien, S. Laval, B. Dumont, S. Lardenois, A. Koster and E. Cassan, "Polarization-independent single-mode rib waveguides on silicon-on-insulator for telecommunication wavelengths", Opt. Commun., vol. 210, pp. 43-49, Sep. 2002.

J. Lousteau, D. Furniss, A. Seddon, T. M. Benson, A. Vukovic and P. Sewell, "The single-mode condition for silicon-on-insulator optical rib waveguides with large cross section", J. Lightw. Technol. , vol. 22, no. 8, pp. 1923-1929, Aug. 2004.

"Beamprop", Rsoft Design Group, Inc., Ossining, NY,

"FEMLAB", COMSOL,Inc., Burlington, MA,

W. N. Ye, D. X. Xu, S. Janz, P. Cheben, A. Delage, M. J. Picard, B. Lamontagne and N. G. Tarr, "Stress-induced birefringence in silicon-on-insulator (SOI) waveguides", in Proc. SPIE, vol. 5357, Jul. 2004, pp. 57-66.

A. G. Rickman, G. T. Reed and F. Namavar, "Silicon-on-insulator optical rib waveguide loss and mode characteristics", J. Lightw. Technol. , vol. 12, no. 10, pp. 1771-1776, Oct. 1994.

A. Sakai, T. Fukazawa and T. Baba, "Low loss ultra-small branches in a silicon photonics wire waveguide", IEICE Trans. Electron. , vol. E85-C, pp. 1033-1038, 2002.

K. K. Lee, D. R. Lim, H. Luan, A. Agarwal, J. Foresi and L. C. Kimerling, "Effect of size and roughness on light transmission in a Si/SiO2 waveguide: Experiments and model", Appl. Phy. Lett., vol. 77, pp. 1617-1619, 2000.

J. Wong, J. Well, C. Whiting, C. Yu, B. Porth, J. HartIII, G. Matteson, H. Mochiki and M. Hagihara, "A hardmask STI etching process for 0.13 µ m logic technology and beyond", in IEEE/SEMI Adv. Semiconductor Manufacturing Conf., 2001, pp. 85-94.

International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). [Online]. Available: http://public.itrs.net/

S. Bosch-Charpenay, X. Jiazhan, J. Haigis, P. A. Rosenthal, P. R. Solomon and J. M. Bustillo, "Real-time etch-depth measurements of MEMS devices", J. Microelectromech. Syst., vol. 11, pp. 111-117, 2002.

M. Hankinson, T. Vincent, K. B. Irani and P. P. Khargonekar, "Integrated real-time and run-to-run control of etch depth in reactive ion etching", IEEE Trans. Semicon. Manuf., vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 121-130, Feb. 1997.

C. E. Png, S. P. Chan, S. T. Lim and G. T. Reed, "Optical phase modulators for MHz and GHz modulation in silicon-on-insulator (SOI)", J. Lightw. Technol., vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 1573-1582, Jun. 2004.

W. R. Headley, G. T. Reed, A. Liu, M. Paniccia and S. Howe, "Polarization independent optical ring resonator on silicon-on-insulator", Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 85, pp. 5523-5525, Nov. 2004 .

S. P. Chan, V. M. N. Passaro, S. T. Lim, C. E. Png and G. T. Reed, "Characterization of integrated Bragg gratings on SOI rib waveguides", in Proc. SPIE, vol. 5248, 2003, pp. 273-283.

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