Realizing low-loss ChG on-chip photonic devices, a critical step toward unleashing their potential applications in optics, has conventionally relied upon fine-line lithography and meticulously optimized etching protocols. Jean et al. took a different approach of templated dewetting, where ChG films were first deposited on a pre-patterned substrate followed by annealing at above the glass transition temperature to induce viscous flow under the action of surface tension, eventually shaping the desired photonic device geometries. While the concept of thermal reflow is not new to ChGs, the work brings the device performance to a completely unprecedented level, with losses down to 0.08 dB/cm. Further, the process is compatible with backend CMOS integration with a low thermal budget at below 240 ˚C.
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