Low-loss Si3N4 arrayed-waveguide grating (de)multiplexer using nano-core optical waveguides
Abstract: A 16-channel 200GHz arrayed-waveguide grating (AWG) (de)-multiplexer is demonstrated experimentally by utilizing Si3N4 buried optical waveguides, which have 50nm-thick Si3N4 cores and a 15μm-thick SiO2 cladding. The structure with an ultra-thin core layer helps to reduce the scattering due to the sidewall roughness and consequently shows very low loss of about 0.4~0.8dB/m. When using this type of optical waveguide for an AWG (de)multiplexer, there is no problem associated with gap refill using the upper-cladding material even when choosing a small (e.g., 1.0 μm) gap between adjacent arrayed waveguides, which helps to reduce the transition loss between the FPR (free-propagation region) and the arrayed waveguides. Therefore, the demonstrated AWG (de)multiplexer based on the present Si3N4 buried optical waveguides has a low on-chip loss. The fabricated AWG (de)multiplexer is characterized in two wavelength ranges around 1310nm and 1550nm, respectively. It shows that the crosstalk from adjacent and non-adjacent channels are about –30dB, and –40dB, respectively, at the wavelength range of 1310nm. The Si3N4 AWG (de)multiplexer has a temperature dependence of about 0.011nm/°C, which is close to that of a pure SiO2 AWG device.