The optical signal power needs to be regulated at some locations in transmission lines. That can be done with the help of optical variable attenuators (OVA), devices which allows for the control of their insertion loss. This work describes the design and properties of some OVAs fabricated by the ion-exchange technique. The OVA functionality relies on a Mach-Zehnder structure, where the output optical intensity is tuned via the change in optical path along one of the two interferometer arms. Here, the optical path is varied through thermo-optic effect (change of refractive index with temperature). Modelling is first addressed: a mostly qualitative theoretical investigation is used to clarify how the fabrication parameters (burial depth and Mach-Zehnder arm separation distance) can be related to the OVAs properties (attenuation dynamic, switching power, settling time, PDL). Properties of fabricated OVAs are presented in a second part. They are compared with other existing products. The relationship between fabrication parameters and properties is also re-examined in light of these results.
We propose a two step ion exchange process to minimize the losses in silver ion-exchanged waveguides using aluminum as mask material. In a first step the sample with the Al-layer is treated in sodium nitrate in order to oxidize the aluminum. The second step involves an ion exchange in an AgNO3/NaNO3 salt mixture. We applied this method to prepare strip waveguides in a special glass substrate, BGG31, used for telecommunication devices. The low losses of the strip waveguides in BGG31 are important for applications such as integrated optical laser amplifiers that we suggest in this paper.
Investigations for a sensor application with an integrated optical (IO) interferometric arrangement are presented. One of the two waveguide arms of an IO-Mach-Zehnder- interferometer is covered with a thin layer of polysiloxane (superstrate), which is sensitive to hydrocarbons. The dielectric IO-devices are fabricated by IOT. Gases of organic compounds including halogenated and non-halogenated hydrocarbons cause a change of the polysiloxan's refractive index followed by an increase or decrease of the effective refractive index of the covered waveguide arm. The resulting phase shift between the guided light in the measuring and the reference arm depends on the detection wavelength and the concentration of gas. Using an LED as the light source the spectral interferogram becomes observable and so order and phase of the signal can be determined. The aim of this work is the development of a reversibly working, miniaturized sensor with a short response time. The advantages of spectral observation of the interference are discussed. A comparison between measured and calculated spectral interference signals is given.