A major issue in the fabrication of integrated Bragg grating (IBG) filters in highly confined waveguides is the average effective index fluctuations caused by sidewall roughness. In this work, we model the impact of this effect on IBG spectral responses and we identify key parameters that need to be controlled in order to minimize distortions. We show that only low spatial frequency components of the noise are relevant to the calculation of the IBG spectral response, which decreases considerably the computation time. Furthermore, we present an IBG emulator that allows estimation of expected fabrication yield of specific gratings given that the fabrication process is well characterized. The analysis of apodized gratings is used as an example to illustrate how this modeling can help to reduce development cost by first studying robustness of IBG designs to fabrication limitations. Finally, we study analytically the impact of sidewall roughness having short correlation lengths and small roughness variances on the spectral response of weak gratings.
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