Thin-film magnetless Faraday rotators for compact heterogeneous integrated optical isolators

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© 2017 Author(s). This report describes the fabrication, characterization, and transfer of ultra-compact thin-film magnetless Faraday rotators to silicon photonic substrates. Thin films of magnetization latching bismuth-substituted rare-earth iron garnets were produced from commercially available materials by mechanical lapping, dice polishing, and crystal-ion-slicing. Eleven- μ m-thick films were shown to retain the 45 ° Faraday rotation of the bulk material to within 2 ° at 1.55 μ m wavelength without re-poling. Anti-reflection coated films evince 0.09 dB insertion loses and better than -20 dB extinction ratios. Lower extinction ratios than the bulk are ascribed to multimode propagation. Significantly larger extinction ratios are predicted for single-mode waveguides. Faraday rotation, extinction ratios, and insertion loss tests on He-ion implanted slab waveguides of the same material yielded similar results. The work culminated with bond alignment and transfer of 7 μ m-thick crystal-ion-sliced 50 × 480 μ m 2 films onto silicon photonic substrates.

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Journal of Applied Physics