L-shaped fiber-chip grating couplers with high directionality and low reflectivity fabricated with deep-UV lithography
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Grating couplers enable position-friendly interfacing of silicon chips by optical fibers. The conventional coupler designs call upon comparatively complex architectures to afford efficient light coupling to sub-micron silicon-on-insulator (SOI) waveguides. Conversely, the blazing effect in double-etched gratings provides high coupling efficiency with reduced fabrication intricacy. In this Letter, we demonstrate for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, the realization of an ultra-directional L-shaped grating coupler, seamlessly fabricated by using 193 nm deep-ultraviolet (deep-UV) lithography. We also include a subwavelength index engineered waveguide-to-grating transition that provides an eight-fold reduction of the grating reflectivity, down to 1% (-20 dB). A measured coupling efficiency of -2.7 dB (54%) is achieved, with a bandwidth of 62 nm. These results open promising prospects for the implementation of efficient, robust, and cost-effective coupling interfaces for sub-micrometric SOI waveguides, as desired for large-volume applications in silicon photonics.
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