Polymer taper bridge for silicon waveguide to single mode waveguide coupling

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© 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Coupling of optical power from high-density silicon waveguides to silica optical fibers for signal routing can incur high losses and often requires complex end-face preparation/processing. Novel coupling device taper structures are proposed for low coupling loss between silicon photonic waveguides and single mode fibers are proposed and devices are fabricated and measured in terms of performance. Theoretical mode conversion models for waveguide tapers are derived for optimal device structure design and performance. Commercially viable vertical and multi-layer taper designs using polymer waveguide materials are proposed as innovative, cost-efficient, and mass-manufacturable optical coupling devices. The coupling efficiency for both designs is determined to evaluate optimal device dimensions and alignment tolerances with both silicon rib waveguides and silicon nanowire waveguides. Propagation loss as a function of waveguide roughness and metallic loss are determined and correlated to waveguide dimensions to obtain total insertion loss for the proposed taper designs. Multi-layer tapers on gold-sputtered substrates are fabricated through photolithography as proof-of-concept devices and evaluated for device loss optimization. Tapered waveguide coupling loss with Si WGs (2.74 dB) was experimentally measured with high correlation to theoretical results.

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Optics Communications