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Title: Reactive ion etching of tellurite and chalcogenide waveguides using hydrogen, methane, and argon

Abstract

The authors report in detail on the reactive plasma etching properties of tellurium and demonstrate a high quality etching process using hydrogen, methane, and argon. Very low loss planar ridge waveguides are demonstrated. Optical losses in tellurium dioxide waveguides below 0.1 dB/cm in most of the near infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum and at 1550 nm have been achieved--the lowest ever reported by more than an order of magnitude and clearly suitable for planar integrated devices. The etch process is also shown to be suitable for chalcogenide glasses which may be of importance in applications such as phase change memory devices and nonlinear integrated optics.

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Laser Physics Centre, Research School of Physics and Engineering, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200 (Australia)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22054017
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology. A, International Journal Devoted to Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films; Journal Volume: 29; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2011 American Vacuum Society; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; 70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ARGON; ETCHING; GLASS; HYDROGEN; MEMORY DEVICES; METHANE; NEAR INFRARED RADIATION; NONLINEAR OPTICS; PHASE CHANGE MATERIALS; PLASMA; SPECTRA; TELLURIUM; WAVEGUIDES

Citation Formats

Vu, K. T., and Madden, S. J. Reactive ion etching of tellurite and chalcogenide waveguides using hydrogen, methane, and argon. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1116/1.3528248.
Vu, K. T., & Madden, S. J. Reactive ion etching of tellurite and chalcogenide waveguides using hydrogen, methane, and argon. United States. doi:10.1116/1.3528248.
Vu, K. T., and Madden, S. J. Sat . "Reactive ion etching of tellurite and chalcogenide waveguides using hydrogen, methane, and argon". United States. doi:10.1116/1.3528248.
@article{osti_22054017,
title = {Reactive ion etching of tellurite and chalcogenide waveguides using hydrogen, methane, and argon},
author = {Vu, K. T. and Madden, S. J.},
abstractNote = {The authors report in detail on the reactive plasma etching properties of tellurium and demonstrate a high quality etching process using hydrogen, methane, and argon. Very low loss planar ridge waveguides are demonstrated. Optical losses in tellurium dioxide waveguides below 0.1 dB/cm in most of the near infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum and at 1550 nm have been achieved--the lowest ever reported by more than an order of magnitude and clearly suitable for planar integrated devices. The etch process is also shown to be suitable for chalcogenide glasses which may be of importance in applications such as phase change memory devices and nonlinear integrated optics.},
doi = {10.1116/1.3528248},
journal = {Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology. A, International Journal Devoted to Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films},
number = 1,
volume = 29,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2011},
month = {Sat Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2011}
}
  • Magnetron ion etching (MIE) of InP has been studied using methane and hydrogen. These results of the first study are compared with those obtained with reactive ion etching (RIE) using the same gases in the same machine but without the magnet. The advantages of the MIE system demonstrated here include etching rates about three to four times higher and a lower degree of acceptor passivation (reduction in carrier concentration of etched surface), a low self-bias of between 70-200 V, and a resulting etched surface which is very smooth. Moreover, it is found that RIE and MIE give very similar degreemore » of passivation depths, provided sample temperature during etching does not exceed 60C. However, MIE is favored because of higher etch rates. The degree of passivation in the MIE also depends on the percentage of methane used in the process. Anisotropic etching of InP with the MIE can be achieved under certain conditions of high pressure, but in conjunction with reduced etch rate and degraded surface morphology.« less
  • A reactive ion etching method is applied to fabricate mirrors of 1.5 ..mu..m GaInAsP/InP mass transport lasers using a mixture of ethane and hydrogen as an etchant. Threshold currents as low as 35 mA are achieved for the 300-..mu..m-long cavity lasers with one etched and one cleaved facet. The differential quantum efficiencies of the lasers with one dry etched facet and both dry etched facets are 13 and 9.5%, respectively.
  • Extremely smooth GaAs surfaces are attained after SiCl[sub 4] reactive ion etching by preparing the surface before etching with hydrogen plasma exposure to selectively remove the native surface oxides. Using this hydrogen plasma pretreatment, the surface morphology after etching is equivalent to that of the original surface since the etching proceeds uniformly through the GaAs without micromasking effects from a nonuniform surface oxide. The beneficial effects of the hydrogen plasma processing are observed in two different reactors and are found to be independent of the platen temperature during etching. Using atomic force microscopy we find an optimized hydrogen plasma processmore » produces an etched surface morphology with an average surface roughness of 0.9--1.5 nm, as compared to the surface roughness of 0.6 nm before etching or as great as 11.8 nm after etching without the hydrogen plasma pretreatment.« less
  • A 1.5 {mu}m GaInAsP/InP buried-heterostructure laser diode was fabricated by reactive ion etching using a mixture of ethane and hydrogen for the formation of mesa stripe. Blocking layers were regrown on the dry etched wafers by liquid phase epitaxy. Continuous-wave operation was obtained at room temperature. A threshold current as low as 15 mA was achieved, which is superior to that of the same structure laser diode fabricated by conventional chemical etching.
  • A systematic analysis of how CH{sub 4}/H{sub 2} based reactive ion etching affects the optical and electro-optical properties of GaInAs/InP multiple quantum well pin diode strip-loaded waveguides is reported. The study includes measurements of waveguiding properties, optical losses and electro-optical phase modulation as function of etch depth, radio-frequency (rf) power, pressure, and the CH{sub 4} content in the etch process. It is found that the optical losses of the waveguides are most sensitive to the etching conditions, in particular the rf power. As the rf-power density was varied from 0.27 to 1.09 W/cm{sup 2}, the optical losses increased from 6.8more » to 19.6 dB/cm. The waveguiding and electro-optical properties were found to be much less sensitive to the etching parameters. For a 5-{mu}m-wide waveguide, the full width half-maximum of the optical mode is typically 5 {mu}m and the average voltage needed to produce a {pi} phase shift is 4 V corresponding to a modulation response of 15{degrees}/V mm. 23 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.« less