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April 1, 1990 / Vol. 15, No.


Wavelength-division multiplexing and demultiplexing on locally
sensitized single-mode polymer microstructure waveguides
Michael R. Wang, Ray T. Chen, G. J. Sonek, and Tomasz Jannson
Physical Optics Corporation, 2545West 237th Street, Torrance, California 90505

Received November 14, 1989; accepted January 25, 1990

A four-channel wavelength-division-(de)multiplexing [WD(D)M] device, operating over optical wavelengths of
543.0 to 632.8 nm, has been successfully fabricated on newly developed locally sensitized polymer (photo-lime
gelatin) microstructure waveguides (PMSW's). The WD(D)M device exhibits a cross talk of less than -40 dB
between adjacent channels and a diffraction efficiencyof better than 50%. The angular and spectral bandwidths for
the device are 0.2-0.4° and -4-10 nm, respectively. Such sensitivities can significantly increase the WD(D)M
channel density for optical interconnect architectures. Since the PMSW device can be constructed on a variety of
substrates, including insulators, semiconductors, conductors, and ceramics, the demultiplexing technique that we
report is suitable for use in a variety of optical-computing, signal-processing, and communication applications.

Wavelength-division (de)multiplexing [WD(D)M] is The demultiplexer was formed using a two-step pro-
considered to be a key technology for enhancing the cess. First, a single-mode planar polymer waveguide
transmission capacity and the application flexibility was formed on top of an appropriate substrate. In
of optical communication and sensor systems. Vari- this case, a thin layer (-3.0 gm) of photo-lime gelatin
ous types of wavelength-division multiplexers and de- was coated on a soda-lime glass sample. After wave-
multiplexers have been proposed and demonstrated, guide index profile tuning and film hardening,7 the
including prism, interference filter, and diffraction waveguide was tested, using the prism coupling meth-
grating devices.1"2 In comparison with other od. Single-mode propagation was confirmed for opti-
WD(D)M devices, grating demultiplexers in thin-film cal wavelengths over the range of 543.0-632.8 nm.
waveguides3 - 6 can exhibit high efficiencies, sharp Second, holographic gratings were selectively de-
wavelength selectivities, and large channel densities, fined within the sensitized polymer microstructure
making them highly suitable for monolithic integra- waveguide region. To accomplish this, a layer of pho-
tion with photodetectors in, for example, the construc- toresist was spin coated on top of the PMSW. Stan-
tion of integrated-optic WD(D)M receiver termi- dard photolithography was then used to create an op-
nals.5 ' 6 tical window for local sensitization. The local sensiti-
In this Letter we report, for the first time to our zation process was achieved by dipping the sample
knowledge, the development of a four-channel inte- into an ammonium dichromate solution at room tem-
grated-optic wavelength-division demultiplexer, using perature. The masking material was then removed,
multiplexed waveguide holographic gratings pat- and within 2 h after drying and stabilization of the
terned on a locally sensitized single-mode polymer sensitized region the sample was ready for dichromat-
(photo-lime gelatin) microstructure waveguide ed gelatin (DCG) holographic recording and process-
(PMSW). The device makes use of the fact that the ing.
refractive-index profile of the polymer can be tuned by In order to form the multiplexed waveguide holo-
means of mass density changes during wet and dry
processing.7 The creation of a graded-index profile
with a high surface index thereby facilitates low-loss
(<1-dB/cm) waveguide formation on substrates, such
as GaAs, LiNbO 3 , alumina (A12 0 3), and beryllium ox-
ide (BeO),7' 8 that would otherwise exhibit excessive A~~~~~~~~~~~

loss or leaky-mode behavior. In addition, the polymer
waveguide is optically transparent from 300 to 2700
nm, making the polymer-based WD(D)M device de-
scribed herein suitable for operation at infrared wave-
lengths in communication applications. WAVEGUIDE
A schematic of the basic waveguide phase hologram
demultiplexer is shown in Fig. 1. A guided mode, X t | SUBSTRATE
having wave vector kg in the polymer waveguide, is
incident upon a slanted phase grating, of wave vector DCG GRATING
K, that has been selectively defined over a given dis-
tance d. The actual WD(D)M device, with a grating Fig. 1. Model of the polymer microstructure waveguide,
length of d = 0.5 mm and Bragg diffraction angles with selectively defined DCG phase gratings having slanted
between 250 and 550, was fabricated on a PMSW. fringes.

0146-9592/90/070363-03$2.00/0 © 1990 Optical Society of America

The cross talk of each individual channel was t)0.0 nm (green). 0 0.00 a~ LUi M higher than 50%. WAVFLENGTH (prn) PMSW is a function of the wavelength.and a grating interaction length graphic recordings in an attempt to optimize diffrac. and NeffA.0 Ki = 2kxi sin 2 ) (1) 0. The above results can be compared with values cal.8 U where kxi and Ki are defined as z LUi kx. culated by using coupled-mode theory.2 holographic grating period.0 nm. For the calculation it Fig.2-0. having a sinusoidal phase-modulation profile.1. graphic gratings.00 0 low).5172.364 OPTICS LETTERS / Vol. The diffraction angles chosen for study correspond to those used in actual WD(D)M device described above. is shown in Fig. designed to be capable of deflecting only one wavelength within a 4-10-nm spectral bandwidth.01.5 (GRAIING LLNG1IId (rnrri) excellent cross-talk figures were obtained. 4. The angular 611.8 nm (red). the modulation index has a value of An = 0. For each wavelength.8 prism coupling into the PMSW structure at a distance L) of approximately 2-4 mm from the grating interaction it 0. = Neffi 27 (2a) 0 z 0 2iA LU Lt Here is is the angle of Bragg diffraction.9 The TE-mode (p-light) dif- fraction efficiency is shown in Fig.4° and approximately 4-10 nm.0 index at Xi. Each in- dividual holographic grating. measured to be approximately -40 dB. generated by the inter. index modulation An = 0. 1990 action with other existing gratings or from random fluctuations in grating modulation index and wave- guide thickness.9nm and spectral sensitivities for the present device were _ x I_ = ~~~~~~~~~~~~~594. the guided mode and the index perturbation and that lengths are 632.5 mm were used in the calculations. therefore.00 0 region.9. different re- cording angles were selected for each different carrier Fig.4- The resultant four-channel WD(D)M device. and 543. it is con- ceivable that the presence of substrate radiation Fig.0 2. respectively. 3 as a function of Bragg angle and wavelength. d = 0. the TEOguided mode is excited by 0. 3.6328 Atm. graded-index profile were not accounted for in the terference recording method was employed. 1s -6. parameters were adjusted during successive holo. a two-beam the waveguide mode effective 0. fabri. to be used in demultiplexing the sig. 1. while the dif. 2' ual grating if the grating-index modulation profile and 0. 65° cated on a locally sensitized PMSW and operating at X 1. will limit the overall WD(D)M device 632. While 0.5 2. Diffraction efficiency and wavelength dependence wavelength in order to satisfy the necessary phase. is recorded such that 1. as a function of the diffraction angle At. Ai is the ith 0.1 nm determined to be 0. as it is applied to a lossless step-index waveguide medium containing slanted phase gratings. Angular bandwidth and the fanout density as a modes from each signal carrier. a center wavelength of X = 0. It should be possible to achieve D much higher diffraction efficiencies for each individ. Exposure index Neff = 1.628 0. 7 / April 1. The diffracted wave.6 I -4. 611. Since the effective index Neff of the 0.1 nm (yel. 0. 611.9 nm (orange). 594. 2.6. 15.0 4- the grating interaction length are optimized.2- = 632. 594. .5 l<0 1. No.62 fraction efficiency at each wavelength was found to be -2.01. Four-channel wavelength-division-demultiplexer was assumed that there is complete overlap between device using a PMSW waveguide. tion efficiencies. and 543.632 0. A mode effective matching conditions of each wavelength. We note that the effects of a finite beam width and a nal carriers of different wavelengths. Ki is the ith grating wave vector.8.0 0. function of the grating interaction length.8rnm efficiency for closely spaced channels. Each grating is.

Phys. We note that the diffraction efficiency Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Herskowitz. T. 40. R. Jannson. width decreases. in DCG. Livanos. changed. 30. 2909 (1969).8 achieving large channel densities. with excellent angu- nm. R. Irvine. as the angular band. C. a similar dependence. that can be achieved. Because the locally sensitized DCG region is 9. Instrum. at all angles can be improved on by tuning the modula. and W. Powers. (FWHM) with an increasing Bragg diffraction angle. Jannson. Tomlinson. J. a decrease in angular bandwidth 1. A. Proc. the WD(D)M device has the potential for ing modulation index and a center wavelength of 632. Reed. Phys. Jannson. Dalke. R. T. Botez and G. 92717. Nishihara. 16. Rice. IEEE J. QE-15. Quan- can be accommodated within the waveguide. The spectral bandwidth of the device exhibits 3. posed phase gratings1 0 over relatively long interaction . The dependence of the angular width and fanout channel on the grating interaction length d is shown in References Fig. W. Irvine. demultiplexing device has been fabricated upon local. 519 (1977). ly sensitized polymer microstructure waveguides with 8. R. the diffraction efficiency is periodically This research project was sponsored by Strategic modulated. In summary. 632 (1979). 120 (1982). 48. Jannson and J. 1990 / Vol. Phillips. Tech. a four-channel wavelength-division. Suhara. A. Opt. E. Kogelnik. Defense Initiative Organization contract DASG60-89- mum and a minimum value as the diffraction angle is C-0053. lengths. M. and D. Appl. 689 the grating interaction length or an increase in Bragg (1980). D. for a given grat. R. 6. Sonek are also with the wavelengths. T. can be achieved. Eng. J. and S. April 1. H. Handa. California tion index during the fabrication process. 239. Yariv. D. Appl. J. Proc. Katzir. capable of supporting a large number of multiply ex. and S. K. 5. 84 (1988).um) of. T. Wang and G. Hall. 15. a greater number of fanout channels 4. G. undergoing a transition between a maxi. Phys. 7 / OPTICS LETTERS 365 present analysis. 56. Appl. Pelka. A. R. Lett. Hence. C. Chen. T. IEEE 68. the use of multiplexed waveguide holographic gratings Lett. It can be seen that. No. Lett. Proc. D. Sakaki. 709 (1990). 14. K. Soc. 892 (1989). 2180 (1977). W. Once again. H. angle. Opt. In com. Hong. Similar trends are observed at other center Michael R. Lett. Alternatively. there is a decrease in the spectral bandwidth lar and wavelength selectivities and low cross talk. 293 (1980). Bryan. J. A. ten utilized in three-dimensional holographic P. tum Electron. parison. J. Wagatsuma. and J. and T. Wang. Koyama. 10. but it requires either an increase in 2. University of California. IEEE 83. WD(D)M devices limit the overall channel density Photo-Opt. A. J. H. Spear-Zino. Y. the smaller interaction lengths (. Chen. 4. 7. Bell Syst. Appl.560 . Saito.