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18 August 2004 Advanced hybrid sol-gel material processing for higher transparency at 1.5 μm
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The hybrid sol-gel process is recognized to be an alternative route for production of low cost silica-based integrated optic devices, since it allows the elaboration of ridge waveguides without recourse to high cost processing, like ion etching. However, the high absorption of these materials in the NIR region (1300 and 1550 nm) has limited so far their use. The main objective of this article is to describe the major factors that lead to high losses in the final material and to give solutions to overcome this drawback. The choice of hybrid precursors and the influence of the experimental conditions of gel preparation are of paramount importance. Appropriate synthesis conditions allow a significant decrease of the gel losses (to 0,5 dB/cm) while keeping good wetability and UV-patternability. Each step of the waveguides elaboration was studied separately (UV-irradiation, etching, overcladding, storage) regarding the losses of the material. Post-baking of the waveguides is a way to significantly decrease the losses at 1550 nm. Under appropriate conditions, the losses measured in the waveguides can be kept below 1 dB/cm.
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Olivier Soppera, Paulo J. Moreira, Paulo V. S. Marques, and António Pereira Leite "Advanced hybrid sol-gel material processing for higher transparency at 1.5 μm", Proc. SPIE 5451, Integrated Optics and Photonic Integrated Circuits, (18 August 2004);

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