Abstract

We report low-loss channel waveguides in a single-crystal LiNbO3 thin film achieved using the annealed proton exchange process. The simulation indicated that the mode size of the α phase channel waveguide could be as small as 1.2μm2. Waveguides with several different widths were fabricated, and the 4 μm-wide channel waveguide exhibited a mode size of 4.6μm2. Its propagation loss was accurately evaluated to be as low as 0.6 dB/cm at 1.55 μm. The single-crystal lattice structure in the LiNbO3 thin film was preserved by a moderate annealed proton exchange process (5 min of proton exchange at 200°C, followed by 3 h annealing at 350°C), as revealed by measuring the extraordinary refractive index change and x ray rocking curve. A longer proton exchange time followed by stronger annealing would destroy the crystal structure and induce a high loss in the channel waveguides.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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