Volume Grating Couplers for Optical Interconnects: Analysis, Design, Fabrication, and Testing
Villalaz, Ricardo A.
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Optical interconnects are important to the future development of microelectronics. Volume grating couplers (VGCs) provide a compact, efficient coupling mechanism that is compatible with microelectronics fabrication processes. In this dissertation, some of the performance characteristics of VGCs are investigated. Also, integration of VGCs with Sea of Polymer Pillars (SoPP), an emerging high-density input/output interconnect technology, is demonstrated and its performance quantitatively investigated. First, the polarization-dependent performance of VGCs is analyzed, and the design constraints for achieving high-efficiency polarization-dependent and polarization-independent VGCs are examined. The effects of loss on VGC performance are also presented. Then, the wavelength response of VGCs and its dependence on grating parameters is quantitatively examined. Experimental demonstrations of polarization-dependent and polarization-independent VGCs are then presented. Finally, a VGC integrated with a SoPP is demonstrated and its performance characterized.