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Low Loss, Deuterium-Diffused SiON Material for Planar Optical Waveguide Circuits (SiON:D)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013324D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Document File: 2 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

For integrated (optical) planar lightwave circuits (PLC’s) used in optical access and switch devices, two material classes are currently in use: (a) semiconductor compounds (such as InP) and, (b) glass-based such as SiliconOxide (Silica) . In the latter category mainly two subsections exist: (i) Ge-doped SiO2 (similar to glassfiber) and (ii) ‘N’-doped SiO2, (SiON or silicon-oxy-nitride). The latter subcategory (SiON) is mainly fabricated for planar lightwave circuits. The optical propagation of information through such PLC’s should be as low-loss as possible, in order to design complex optical routings and switch matrices for such PLC devices. Materials with low optical loss are of high relevance to PLC fabrication and to optical circuit designers.

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  Low Loss, Deuterium-Diffused SiON Material for Planar Optical Waveguide Circuits (SiON:D)

For integrated (optical) planar lightwave circuits (PLC's) used
in optical access and switch devices, two material classes are
currently in use: (a) semiconductor compounds (such as InP) and,
(b) glass-based such as SiliconOxide (Silica) . In the latter
category mainly two subsections exist: (i) Ge-doped SiO2 (similar
to glassfiber) and (ii) 'N'-doped SiO2, (SiON or
silicon-oxy-nitride). The latter subcategory (SiON) is mainly
fabricated for planar lightwave circuits. The optical propagation
of information through such PLC's should be as low-loss as
possible, in order to design complex optical routings and switch
matrices for such PLC devices. Materials with low optical loss
are of high relevance to PLC fabrication and to optical circuit
designers.

The conventional planar Ge:SiO2 PLC's have the advantage of using
a well established base technology, however two drawbacks exist
in transferring such Ge:SiO2 based technology for future PLC's.
First, the Ge:SiO2 manufacturing techniques are not suited for
integration into standard IC fabrications as known in the
electronic industry, so have some difficulty in following similar
scaling trends. Secondly, the low optical contrast and optical
confinement - essentially a low-index step into the core
material- limits the radius of curvature to typically 10- mm,
hence the PLC layout density is low, as is the real-estate usage
of the wafer. This latter issue very much limits an up-scaling in
complexity (adding functions) and an economic scaling is only
possible via an increase in wafer size (4-6-8"...