Reliable low-cost fabrication of low-loss $Al_2O_3:Er^{3+}$ waveguides with 5.4-dB optical gain


Wörhoff, Kerstin and Bradley, Jonathan D.B. and Ay, Feridun and Geskus, Dimitri and Blauwendraat, Tom P. and Pollnau, Markus (2009) Reliable low-cost fabrication of low-loss $Al_2O_3:Er^{3+}$ waveguides with 5.4-dB optical gain. IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, 45 (5). pp. 454-461. ISSN 0018-9197

Abstract:A reliable and reproducible deposition process for the fabrication of $Al_2O_3$ waveguides with losses as low as 0.1 dB/cm has been developed. The thin films are grown at ~ 5 nm/min deposition rate and exhibit excellent thickness uniformity within 1% over 50times50 mm2 area and no detectable $OH^{-}$ incorporation. For applications of the $Al_2O_3$ films in compact, integrated optical devices, a high-quality channel waveguide fabrication process is utilized. Planar and channel propagation losses as low as 0.1 and 0.2 dB/cm, respectively, are demonstrated. For the development of active integrated optical functions, the implementation of rare-earth-ion doping is investigated by cosputtering of erbium during the $Al_2O_3$ layer growth. Dopant levels between 0.2-5times $1020 cm^{-3}$ are studied. At $Er^{3+}$ concentrations of interest for optical amplification, a lifetime of the 4I13/2 level as long as 7 ms is measured. Gain measurements over 6.4-cm propagation length in a 700-nm-thick $Al_2O_3:Er^{3+}$ channel waveguide result in net optical gain over a 41-nm-wide wavelength range between 1526-1567 nm with a maximum of 5.4 dB at 1533 nm
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Copyright:© 2009 IEEE
Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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