Processing, characteristics, and optical properties of wet chemically derived planar dielectric waveguides.
AuthorWeisenbach, Lori ann.
Committee ChairZelinski, Brian J.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAn experimental study of the processing and attenuation characteristics of solution derived, thin film, planar waveguides was made. In this study, the densification and attenuation characteristics of a variety of compositions were compared. To insure that the effects measured reflected compositional differences and not processing artifacts, guidelines for the reproducible fabrication of optical quality layers, irrespective of composition, were established. A broad range of compositions were prepared and an effort was made to keep the various solution syntheses as simple and similar as possible. The densification and attenuation of binary SiO₂-TiO₂ compositions was measured, then compared to the densification and attenuation of SiO₂-TiO₂-RₓO(y) (where R = Al or Zn) ternary compositions. Film densification was not strongly dependent upon composition, and was successfully modelled using the Lorentz-Lorenz relation, assuming the open volume in the undensified films were filled with adsorbed water. The attenuation measured at 632.8 nm did not vary with composition, except for the Zn ternary samples. Waveguides with losses of < 1dB/cm could be fabricated from all other compositions. Waveguide attenuation was measured for films of different thickness, and compared to modelled predictions. The attenuation increased as layer thickness decreased, suggesting the predominance of the surface scattering contribution. To confirm that absorption losses were negligible, the wavelength dependence of the waveguides was measured. The wavelength dependence varied with composition, suggesting the absorption varied with composition. Possible mechanisms of absorption in the waveguides were discussed; the interaction of the atmosphere with the film structure is proposed as the cause of the deterioration. Film development for the binary SiO₂-TiO₂ films was also studied as a function of increased firing time at 500°C. Multiple firings at 500°C increased the film density and the resistance to deterioration, but also increased the surface roughness of the films. Increased surface roughness, increased the scattering losses measured for the guide. The application of solution derived thin films was demonstrated with the successful fabrication of a novel optical device. The fabrication of the Single Leakage-Channel Grating Coupler illustrated specific design tolerances could be met and the resulting device performance near the theoretical maximum.
Degree ProgramMaterials Science and Engineering