Integrated spot size converters for InP based photonic systems

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Wieczorek, Andreas
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University College Cork
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The ever increasing demand for broadband communications requires sophisticated devices. Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) are an approach that fulfills those requirements. PICs enable the integration of different optical modules on a single chip. Low loss fiber coupling and simplified packaging are key issues in keeping the price of PICs at a low level. Integrated spot size converters (SSC) offer an opportunity to accomplish this. Design, fabrication and characterization of SSCs based on an asymmetric twin waveguide (ATG) at a wavelength of 1.55 μm are the main elements of this dissertation. It is theoretically and experimentally shown that a passive ATG facilitates a polarization filter mechanism. A reproducible InP process guideline is developed that achieves vertical waveguides with smooth sidewalls. Birefringence and resonant coupling are used in an ATG to enable a polarization filtering and splitting mechanism. For the first time such a filter is experimentally shown. At a wavelength of 1610 nm a power extinction ratio of (1.6 ± 0.2) dB was measured for the TE- polarization in a single approximately 372 μm long TM- pass polarizer. A TE-pass polarizer with a similar length was demonstrated with a TM/TE-power extinction ratio of (0.7 ± 0.2) dB at 1610 nm. The refractive indices of two different InGaAsP compositions, required for a SSC, are measured by the reflection spectroscopy technique. A SSC layout for dielectric-free fabricated compact photodetectors is adjusted to those index values. The development and the results of the final fabrication procedure for the ATG concept are outlined. The etch rate, sidewall roughness and selectivity of a Cl2/CH4/H2 based inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etch are investigated by a design of experiment approach. The passivation effect of CH4 is illustrated for the first time. Conditions are determined for etching smooth and vertical sidewalls up to a depth of 5 μm.
Spot size converter , Asymmetric twin waveguide , Photonic integrated circuit
Wieczorek A. 2013. Integrated spot size converters for InP based photonic systems. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.