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Opt Express. 2008 Aug 18;16(17):12987-94.

Thermal and Kerr nonlinear properties of plasma-deposited silicon nitride/ silicon dioxide waveguides.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093-0409, USA.


We introduce and present experimental evaluations of loss and nonlinear optical response in a waveguide and an optical resonator, both implemented with a silicon nitride/ silicon dioxide material platform prepared by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition with dual frequency reactors that significantly reduce the stress and the consequent loss of the devices. We measure a relatively small loss of approximately 4dB/cm in the waveguides. The fabricated ring resonators in add-drop and all-pass arrangements demonstrate quality factors of Q=12,900 and 35,600. The resonators are used to measure both the thermal and ultrafast Kerr nonlinearities. The measured thermal nonlinearity is larger than expected, which is attributed to slower heat dissipation in the plasma-deposited silicon dioxide film. The n2 for silicon nitride that is unknown in the literature is measured, for the first time, as 2.4 x 10(-15)cm(2)/W, which is 10 times larger than that for silicon dioxide.

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