Effect of size and roughness on light transmission in a Si/SiO[sub 2] waveguide: Experiments and model

Lee, Kevin K.; Lim, Desmond R.; Luan, Hsin-Chiao; Hsin-Chiao Luan; Agarwal, Anuradha; Foresi, James; Kimerling, Lionel C.
September 2000
Applied Physics Letters;9/11/2000, Vol. 77 Issue 11
Academic Journal
In this letter, we experimentally evaluate the effect of miniaturization and surface roughness on transmission losses within a Si/SiO[sub 2] waveguide system, and explain the results using a theoretical model. Micrometer/nanometer-sized waveguides are imperative for its potential use in dense integrated optics and optical interconnection for silicon integrated circuits. A theoretical model was employed to predict the relationship between the transmission losses of the dielectric silicon waveguide and its width. This model accurately predicts that loss increases as waveguide width decreases. Furthermore, we show that a major source of loss comes from sidewall roughness. We have constructed a complete contour map showing the interdependence of sidewall roughness and transmission loss, to assist users in their design of an optimal waveguide fabrication process that minimizes loss. Additionally, users can find an effective path to reduce the scattering loss from sidewall roughness. Using this map, we confirm that nanometer-size silicon waveguides with 0.1 dB/cm transmission loss are possible with the currently available technology. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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