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9 February 2007 Efficient fiber to waveguide coupling structure for optical systems integration using grayscale lithography
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Silicon photonics is an area of active research and commercial interest due in part to its leveraging of the existing mature fabrication processes and infrastructure of the CMOS integrated circuit industry. Its suitability for use at the telecom wavelengths, low cost, and compact devices enhance the value of silicon for photonics applications. One critical issue that continues to be investigated is the efficient coupling of optical signals between the outside world and the photonic chip, which is hampered by the large optical mode mismatch between the glass fiber and high index contrast silicon waveguide. We introduce a new device that enables efficient coupling from the fiber to single mode silicon waveguide called the vertical J-coupler, so named in reference to its parabolic shape. Grayscale lithography is used to fabricate the three-dimensional topology of the coupler, enabled by the high energy beam sensitive (HEBS) glass grayscale photomask. The principle of operation is total internal reflection, which is inherently polarization insensitive and broadband. Electro-magnetic simulations validate the efficient operation of the device while experimental results demonstrate its successful operation in coupling light into the silicon waveguide.
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Thomas Dillon, Caihua Chen, Janusz Murakowski, and Dennis Prather "Efficient fiber to waveguide coupling structure for optical systems integration using grayscale lithography", Proc. SPIE 6478, Photonics Packaging, Integration, and Interconnects VII, 64780O (9 February 2007);

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