Lossless Splitters Based on Active Silica Films

Period of Performance: 12/16/1998 - 08/09/1999

$120K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Rice Systems, Inc.
1150 Main Street, Suite C
Irvine, CA 92614
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

Degradation of signal level, caused by transmission and distribution losses, is an important problem in integrated optoelectronics. While transmission loss can be reduced by minimizing waveguide length andlor by improving material quality (for example, reducing absorption or scattering loss), distribution loss is intrinsic to device design, as in the case of lxN splitters. Erbium-doped thin-film waveguides, suitable for monolithic integration with other guided-optic devices, are promising as loss-compensating devices for photonic integrated circuits and systems. In this program, we will address the major challenges in the development of lossless integrated optics beamsplitters based on Er-doped glass films: the requirement of higher Er concentrations, the limitations on the maximum-obtainable gain of Er-doped thin-film amplifiers, and the development of a suitable lxN beamsplitter architecture. Our efforts will include materials and process refinement demonstrated through the fabrication of simple Er-doped amplifiers and beamsplitters. The integrated optics design capabilities and the marketing expertise of Rice Systems, combined with the Er-doped thin film expertise of the University of Pittsburgh Optoelectronics Laboratory, form a well balanced team for the development and commercialization of an Er-doped lossless splitter, for improving system gain in integrated optic sensors, and for increasing the laser diode sharing factor in distribution systems. BENEFITS: Rice Systems has several integrated optics sensors under development for sensing rotation and acceleration. The incorporation of a lossless Er-doped splitter into our sensors would allow us to increase the sensitivity of our devices, opening a large market in navigational grade inertial instrumentation.