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Integrated ARROW waveguides with hollow cores

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We report the design, fabrication, and demonstration of antiresonant reflecting optical (ARROW) waveguides with hollow cores. We describe the design principles to achieve low waveguide loss in both transverse and lateral directions. A novel fabrication process using silicon dioxide and silicon nitride layers as well as sacrificial polyimide core layers was developed. Optical characterization of 3.5µm thick waveguides with air cores was carried out. We demonstrate single-mode propagation through these hollow ARROW waveguides with propagation loss as low as 6.5cm-1 and mode cross sections down to 6.7µm2. Applications of these waveguides to sensing and quantum communication are discussed.

©2004 Optical Society of America

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Figures (6)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1. (a) Transverse ARROW waveguide structure. (b) Transverse TE mode loss for various waveguide types. Black: no ARROW confinement, red: SiN/air confinement, blue: SiO2/SiN confinement (1, 2, and 3 periods). Dashed line: thickness of fabricated structure.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2. Waveguide cross sections for 3D confinement. Left: Lateral confinement by ARROW layers. Right: Lateral confinement by effective index guiding due to ridge in top layer.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3. SEM image of fabricated hollow-core ARROW waveguide. The core dimensions are 12 µm by 3.5µm with a 0.57µm high and 5µm wide ridge on top.
Fig. 4.
Fig. 4. (a) Output facet image of mode propagating in hollow ARROW waveguide. Black lines: Outline of sample for clarity. (b) Intensity mode profile (near-field).
Fig. 5.
Fig. 5. Comparison of observed transverse (a) and lateral (b) mode profiles (circles) with theoretical calculation (lines).
Fig. 6.
Fig. 6. Waveguide loss versus sample length (3.5×24µm core): Circles: Experiment; solid line: exponential fit; dashed line: loss calculation including higher order modes.

Equations (2)

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d i = λ 4 n i ( 2 N + 1 ) [ 1 n c 2 n i 2 + λ 2 4 n i 2 d c 2 ] 0.5
I o u t β 1 e α 1 L + β 3 e α 3 L + β 5 e α 5 L
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