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Hybrid 2D–3D optical devices for integrated optics by direct laser writing

Hybrid 2D–3D optical devices for integrated optics by direct laser writing
Author: M. Schumann, T. Bückmann, N. Gruhler, M. Wegener, and W. Pernice links:
Source: Light: Science & Applications 3, e175 (2014); doi:10.1038/lsa.2014.56
Date: 6.06.2014


Integrated optical chips have already been established for application in optical communication. They also offer interesting future perspectives for integrated quantum optics on a chip. At present, however, they are mostly fabricated using essentially planar fabrication approaches like electron-beam lithography or UV optical lithography. Many further design options would arise if one had complete fabrication freedom in regard to the third dimension normal to the chip without having to give up the virtues and the know-how of existing planar fabrication technologies. As a step in this direction, we here use three-dimensional dip-in direct-laser-writing optical lithography to fabricate three-dimensional polymeric functional devices on pre-fabricated planar optical chips containing Si3N4 waveguides as well as grating couplers made by standard electron-beam lithography. The first example is a polymeric dielectric rectangular-shaped waveguide which is connected to Si3N4 waveguides and that is adiabatically twisted along its axis to achieve geometrical rotation of linear polarization on the chip. The rotator’s broadband performance at around 1550 nm wavelength is verified by polarization-dependent grating couplers. Such polarization rotation on the optical chip cannot easily be achieved by other means. The second example is a whispering-gallery-mode optical resonator connected to Si3N4 waveguides on the chip via polymeric waveguides. By mechanically connecting the latter to the disk, we can control the coupling to the resonator and, at the same time, guarantee mechanical stability of the three-dimensional architecture on the chip.