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High Density Optical Waveguide Array

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000051735D
Original Publication Date: 1981-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-10
Document File: 2 page(s) / 28K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Rose, JW: AUTHOR

Abstract

An ideal optical waveguide consists of uniform square cores of material having a high index of refraction clad with or imbedded in a matrix of material having a lower refractive index. The separation between each of these cores must have a minimum thickness m to prevent optical coupling between adjacent waveguides. In actual practice it has been impossible to produce optical waveguides with only the necessary spacing m since the present chemical etching process used to create such waveguides cannot create a separation having a width less than the height of the waveguide itself.

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High Density Optical Waveguide Array

An ideal optical waveguide consists of uniform square cores of material having a high index of refraction clad with or imbedded in a matrix of material having a lower refractive index. The separation between each of these cores must have a minimum thickness m to prevent optical coupling between adjacent waveguides. In actual practice it has been impossible to produce optical waveguides with only the necessary spacing m since the present chemical etching process used to create such waveguides cannot create a separation having a width less than the height of the waveguide itself.

The waveguide structure shown in the figure solves this problem and achieves the minimum distance m between waveguides, assuring maximum density of the waveguides. A body 10 has deposited thereon a layer 11 which is etched, using known techniques, to create a plurality of optical waveguides 11a, 11b and 11c. Because of limitations in presently known chemical etching techniques, the final spacing w between the etch guides 11a, 11b and 11c is at least equal to the height h of the layer 11. The spacing between the etched waveguides should be equal at least to the height h of the waveguide plus twice the thickness of the desired minimum separation m.

Once this etching procedure is completed, the unit is clad or overcoated with a layer 12 of low index material, such as sputtered quartz, to the desired minimum thickness m required for optical isolation. Once...