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Low-Loss Near Adiabatic Single-Mode Passive Waveguide Tapers

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In integrated optical devices, the constituent waveguides invariably undergo bends and curvature, causing excess radiation losses. To utilize the maximum "real estate", the packing density of the components on a single substrate can be increased by decreasing the bending radii. This will increase the bending losses substantially if the mode size is not decreased. On the other hand, efficient fiber-guide coupling requires mode sizes In the range of 7-10μm for 1.3μm operating wavelength. The solution lies in tapered structures [1] Although fiber compatible waveguides in BK7 with fiber-guide thruput losses below 1 dB in a 20 mm long device have been reported[2] by K+ - Na+ ion exchange, the maximum index change is limited to 0.009[3] which does not permit small mode sizes at 1.3μm wavelength. Therefore the K+ - Na+ exchange does not allow fabrication of useful tapers. Recently Mahapatra and Connors[4] reported thermal tapering of Ag+ - Na+ exchanged channel guides in soda-lime glass where a total thruput loss of 2.2 dB in a 7mm long device was achieved at a wavelength of 0.8μm with an excess loss of 0.4 dB in the 3 mm taper. This large excess loss appears to be caused by the nonadiabatic transition and the large thruput loss appears to be associated with the high silver concentration in the glass.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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