A dry electromigration process for fabricating deep optical channel waveguides on glass and their characterization

Chin C. Lee, Ricky W. Chuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A dry electromigration technique was developed to fabricate deep multimode channel and planar waveguides on BK7 optical glass. In contrast to earlier ion exchange processes based on thermal diffusion, a relatively high electric field (∼440V/mm) was applied on the glass to accelerate the field-driven ion exchange process by expeditiously replacing host sodium ions in the glass with silver ions. As a result, the process temperature is significantly reduced, leading to lower optical attenuation on the waveguides. Lowest optical loss was achieved on waveguides fabricated at 320°C. The increase on the index of refraction for the planar waveguide was determined to be 0.076 using the prism coupling method. The optical loss for channel waveguides was measured using the edge coupling technique with a 0.6328μm He-Ne laser. Loss of 2dB/cm was obtained for channel waveguides of 25μm in depth, relatively low for waveguides of such depth at red wavelength. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) with energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscope was utilized to obtain the concentration profile of silver ions in the waveguide region. A modified Huggins-Sun model with Gladstone-Dale relation was employed to deduce the refractive index profile from the silver ion concentration profile. A nearly step-like profile was observed from every deep multimode waveguide fabricated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering B: Solid-State Materials for Advanced Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Aug 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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