Abstract

Ion-beam enhanced etching is used to pattern a bulk lithium niobate crystal with ultrathin membranes. By the implementation of an air gap beneath the membrane, high index contrast is achieved. A buried amorphous layer, created by irradiation with He ions, is removed by means of wet chemical etching in hydro- fluoric acid. Membranes having thicknesses down to 200nm are fabricated. The etched air gaps and the membranes exhibit a uniform thickness over the entire etched area, and their widths can be purposefully adjusted over a wide range by choosing appropriate ion energies and fluences as well as annealing conditions.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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