We present a simple measurement and analysis technique to determine the fraction of optical loss due to both radiation (scattering) and linear absorption in microphotonic components. The method is generally applicable to optical materials in which both nonlinear and linear absorption are present and requires only limited knowledge of absolute optical power levels, material parameters, and the structure geometry. The technique is applied to high-quality-factor ( to ) silicon-on-insulator (SOI) microdisk resonators. It is determined that linear absorption can account for more than half of the total optical loss in the high-Q regime of these devices.
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