Integrated Bragg gratings in silicon-on-insulator

Authors: Simard, Alexandre D.
Advisor: LaRochelle, SophiePainchaud, Yves
Abstract: In the literature, integrated Bragg gratings in Silicon-on-Insulator are relatively simple compared to their fibre Bragg grating counterpart. However, elaborate gratings could improve the signal processing capability of the silicon platform. Thus, this thesis addresses the issues that prevent the design, the fabrication and the characterization of Bragg gratings having elaborate spectral response in the silicon platform. Firstly, in order to precisely characterize Bragg gratings complex spectral response, we proposed to suppress parasitic reflections using temporal filtering. The results obtained with measurement technique, when used with an integral layer peeling algorithm, allowed us to retrieve the amplitude and phase profiles of the grating thus providing a complete characterization of the structure. Moreover, the addition of a low-pass spatial filter allowed improving the characterization process by reducing the measurement noise. Secondly, the main sources of distortion of Bragg gratings spectral response have been identified to be the sidewall roughness and the wafer height fluctuation. An exhaustive study of the impact of these phenomena has been done both numerically and analytically. Furthermore, for the first time, the autocorrelation of these noise sources has been characterized experimentally on a sufficient length. Finally, improvements in the waveguide designs have reduced significantly these effects which allowed the fabrication of Bragg gratings in silicon with the smallest bandwidth published to date. Thirdly, the first demonstration of apodized Bragg gratings using only phase modulation of the structure has been done (i.e. phase apodisation and superposition apodisation). Unlike already published techniques, the later ones have the advantage to be robust to deep-UV lithography and fabrication errors. Furthermore, they do no introduce distortions into the grating phase profile and they are compatible with gratings having small recesses. Finally, in order to increase the grating length while keeping their dimension compatible with the silicon chip size, we proposed to bend them in a compact spiral shape. To do this properly, the curvature impact on the effective index has been modeled and compensated successfully by modifying the grating period. Thus, we have shown that 2 mm long gratings can be integrated on a surface of 200 µm x 190 µm without the addition of spectral degradation and without restrictions on the design structure. These results are of importance because longer grating structures with weaker coupling coefficients and a precise control both on its phase and amplitude are required in order to achieve integrated optical filters with elaborate spectral responses. Thus, we believe that the work presented in this thesis open the door to many new grating-based optical filter designs compatible with integrated optics technologies.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2014
Open Access Date: 20 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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