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2 February 2012 Polymer waveguide grating couplers for low-cost nanoimprinted integrated optics
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Waveguide grating couplers permit efficient coupling to planar waveguides, complete with relaxed alignment tolerances and the possibility of wafer scale device testing without cleaving. To date, most solutions have been implemented as 1D gratings in high index contrast waveguides (typically SOI) with high coupling strengths and lateral mode converters. Here, we report the design and optimization of 1D grating couplers in polymer waveguides with much lower index cores (n = 1.8). Basic parameters from grating theory are used as the basis for FDTD simulations scanning over etch depth and grating period. Several optimizations are tested, including top claddings, buried dielectric mirrors, and buried metal mirrors. More than 80% coupling efficiency to air is predicted for a uniform symmetric grating, 20 periods long, with a carefully positioned buried metal reflector. The designs are intended for monolithic integration in polymeric planar lightwave circuits mass-produced by a roll-to-roll nanoimprint lithography process, where metallic mirrors can be safely and successfully incorporated.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
M. E. Pollard, S. J. Pearce, R. Chen, S. Oo, and M. D. B. Charlton "Polymer waveguide grating couplers for low-cost nanoimprinted integrated optics", Proc. SPIE 8264, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XVI, 826418 (2 February 2012);

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