High-performance waveguides for "new generation photonic chips" have been created

An international team of researchers has developed a new technology for creating optical waveguides: "SPIM-WG". FROM

using this method, optical waveguidesnanoscale with a smoothly varying three-dimensional cross section can be fabricated on a chip. Such devices are not only better than traditional ones, but have several new features that pave the way for future photonic and quantum chips.

In his work, published in Light Science &Applications, scientists have used femtosecond laser writing to create fiber-compatible glass waveguides. When fabricated in heating mode at a high scan rate, they were able to achieve precise deformation of cross sections along the waveguide with controlled shapes and sizes with high resolution in both the horizontal and vertical transverse directions.

Researchers say the main benefitA new technology based on adaptive optics is that it allows the production of low-loss waveguides with variable cross-sections, such as round, square, annular, or many other complex shapes. The cross-sectional control accuracy for each axis can reach hundreds of nanometers. For a single waveguide, the cross-sectional shape can vary along the waveguide itself. For example, they can be twisted, from square to round, or from round to ring.

Examples of light guides of various shapes made using the new technology. Image: Bangshan Sun et al., Light Science & Applications

The study showed very low losses atusing new waveguides. A waveguide built on a glass substrate has a transmission loss of about -0.14 dB/cm. This means that only about 3% of the optical power is lost when transmitting 1 cm through the chip, the authors of the development explain. Moreover, the experimental results show that the additional transmission loss caused by the change in cross section is negligible.

Scientists also note the speed of production withusing new technology. Conventional silicon-on-silicon waveguides take months to build, while SPIM-WG only takes a few minutes. This speed allows you to quickly create and test device prototypes without spending months creating a new version of the product.

Development of electronic integrated circuitsapproaching the limit of throughput and power consumption. Photonic and quantum chips can be a reasonable alternative. Based on damped wave coupling, neighboring optical waveguides can realize programmable signal processing, providing the necessary functions for quantum and photonic chips.

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