The purpose of the ridge waveguides in MgO:LN is to provide platform technology that will improve optical power handling and conversion efficiency compared to existing waveguide technology. The proposed ridge waveguide is produced using standard microfabrication techniques. The approach is enabled by recent advances in inductively coupled plasma etchers and chemical mechanical planarization techniques. In conjunction with wafer bonding, this fabrication methodology can be used to create arbitrarily shaped waveguides allowing complex optical circuits to be engineered in nonlinear optical materials such as magnesium doped lithium niobate. Researchers here have identified NLO (nonlinear optical) ridge waveguide structures as having suitable value to be the leading frequency conversion structures. Its value is based on having the low-cost fabrication necessary to satisfy the challenging pricing requirements as well as achieve the power handling and other specifications in a suitably compact package.
This work was done by Phillip Himmer of Montana State University and Philip Battle, William Suckow, and Greg Switzer of AdvR Inc. for Goddard Space Flight Center. GSC-16031-1