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24 February 2006 Long-term stability of polymeric integrated optical components
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Traditionally, glass has been a suitable waveguide material and passive integrated optical circuits in glass substrates are widely used as passive components. Long-term tests of optical glass flats with a high level of internal stress revealed gradual systematic-change with time to produce inconsistent results. Since long-term stability has been the primary concern for users of specific applications, investigations of instabilities in various optical materials have been carried out via measurements and tests. From the development of the integrated optical systems' point-of-view, polymers are promising candidates that possess excellent compatibility with all other materials and their associated processes. Polymeric materials offer large refractive-index contrasts, high performance, environmental stability, simple low-cost fabrication and may be processed by unconventional forming techniques. Polymer technologies can be designed to form stress-free films, so that stress-induced losses can be eliminated. Optical polymers may also be tailored to meet specific requirements for optical waveguide devices and can be highly transparent in such a way that they are not a limiting factor in components' lifetime. In this paper, tests results and characteristics of polymeric materials shall be reviewed; different types of polymer are detail-studied and a brief analysis shall be presented. Examples of passive polymeric integrated optical components are single-mode splitters, couplers, polarizers, routers, gratings, bend waveguides, power dividers, wavelength filters and wavelength multiplexers/de-multiplexers, which may find applications in the optical communication and the telecommunication industries.
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Wing-Ying Kwong "Long-term stability of polymeric integrated optical components", Proc. SPIE 6123, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies X, 612318 (24 February 2006);


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