Plasma Deposited, Photo-Oxidated Organosilicon Polymer to Produce Etch-Free, On-Chip, Low Loss Optical Waveguides

Period of Performance: 01/01/1998 - 02/01/1999

$700K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Ionic Systems Inc.
2161 OToole Avenue, Unit H
San Jose, CA 95131
Principal Investigator

Abstract

In Phase I of this program, we proposed, and demonstrated a novel method for producing low loss on chip waveguides without etching. We propose, in Phase II, to focus on the materials unique optical properties, that is, not only a brad range of as deposited index of refraction but the ability to be processed to given specific values in plane with refraction but the ability to be processed to given specific values in plane with photoexposure. In Phase I we were able to produce materials which had index changes of over 1.0 after exposure. In Phase I we were able to produce materials which had index changes of over 1.0 after exposure. In Phase II we will attempt to double this range. We will complete material characterization, including long term stability, and process optimization begun in Phase I. We will combine our material/process with innovative lithographic techniques to economically produce structures with design specific index of refraction. We will produce prototype phased array devices for high density wavelength division multiplexing. In addition to optimizing conventional designs, we will investigate embedding micro-optical components which would, for example, provide compensation for polarization mode losses. Phase II will conclude with the development of high volume production capable material and process as well as the prototyping and testing of initial devices. The success of the Phase II program will result in commercialization of photonic devices that capitalize on the smaller device size, a 20X advantage, to either produce devices of equal area with 20X more functionality (20X the number of channels in a demultiplexer for example) or produce equivalent devices with 1/20 the capital expenditure and at least 80% less than current prices. Additional competitive advantages results from the elimination of propagation losses with etch free produced waveguides and, reduction of polarization dependent loss in planar waveguide devices by at least an order of magnitude (providing a 10X increase in performance). We will use these advantages to secure at least 10% of the projected multi-billion dollar planar waveguide device market.