Abstract

Integrated lithium niobate (LN) photonic circuits have recently emerged as a promising candidate for advanced photonic functions such as high-speed modulation, nonlinear frequency conversion, and frequency comb generation. For practical applications, optical interfaces that feature low fiber-to-chip coupling losses are essential. So far, the fiber-to-chip loss (commonly >10  dB/facet) has dominated the total insertion losses of typical LN photonic integrated circuits, where on-chip losses can be as low as 0.03–0.1 dB/cm. Here we experimentally demonstrate a low-loss mode size converter for coupling between a standard lensed fiber and sub-micrometer LN rib waveguides. The coupler consists of two inverse tapers that convert the small optical mode of a rib waveguide into a symmetrically guided mode of a LN nanowire, featuring a larger mode area matched to that of a tapered optical fiber. The measured fiber-to-chip coupling loss is lower than 1.7 dB/facet with high fabrication tolerance and repeatability. Our results open the door for practical integrated LN photonic circuits efficiently interfaced with optical fibers.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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