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Analysis and optimization of propagation losses in LiNbO3 optical waveguides produced by swift heavy-ion irradiation

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The propagation losses (PL) of lithium niobate optical planar waveguides fabricated by swift heavy-ion irradiation (SHI), an alternative to conventional ion implantation, have been investigated and optimized. For waveguide fabrication, congruently melting LiNbO3 substrates were irradiated with F ions at 20 MeV or 30 MeV and fluences in the range 1013–1014 cm−2. The influence of the temperature and time of post-irradiation annealing treatments has been systematically studied. Optimum propagation losses lower than 0.5 dB/cm have been obtained for both TE and TM modes, after a two-stage annealing treatment at 350 and 375C. Possible loss mechanisms are discussed.

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This work has been supported by Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MICINN) under grant MAT2008-06794-C03. M. Jubera acknowledges his FPI fellowship from MICINN.

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Jubera, M., Villarroel, J., García-Cabañes, A. et al. Analysis and optimization of propagation losses in LiNbO3 optical waveguides produced by swift heavy-ion irradiation. Appl. Phys. B 107, 157–162 (2012).

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