Table of Contents
Advances in Optical Technologies
Volume 2008, Article ID 689715, 10 pages
Research Article

Stress Induced Effects for Advanced Polarization Control in Silicon Photonics Components

1Institute for Microstructural Sciences, National Research Council Canada (NRC), Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0R6
2Department of Electronics, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1S 5B6

Received 24 January 2008; Accepted 11 March 2008

Academic Editor: D. Lockwood

Copyright © 2008 D.-X. Xu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We review the use of the oxide cladding stress-induced photoelastic effect to modify the polarization dependent properties in silicon-on-insulator (SOI) waveguide components, and highlight characteristics particular to this high index contrast (HIC) systems. The birefringence in SOI waveguides has its origin in the electromagnetic boundary conditions at the waveguide boundaries, and can be further modified by the presence of stress in the waveguiding materials. With typical stress levels in S i O 2 films, which are often used as the upper cladding, the waveguide effective index can be altered anisotropically up to the order of 1 0 3 for ridges with heights ranging from 1  𝜇 m to 5  𝜇 m. This effect can be used effectively to counter the waveguide geometrical birefringence, allowing the waveguide cross-section profiles to be optimized for design criteria other than null geometrical birefringence. Design strategies are developed for using stress engineering to achieve a variety of functions. Polarization insensitive arrayed waveguide gratings (AWGs), polarization insensitive ring resonators, and polarization splitters and filters are demonstrated using these design principles.