Width dependence of inherent TM-mode lateral leakage loss in silicon-on-insulator ridge waveguides

M. A. Webster, R. M. Pafchek, A. Mitchell, T. L. Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


We report the first experimental observation in the optical domain of a dramatic width-dependent lateral leakage loss behavior for the TM-like mode of tight vertical confinement ridge waveguides formed in silicon-on-insulator. The lateral leakage loss displays a series of sharp cyclic minima at precise waveguide widths, and appears to be inherent to waveguide geometries of central importance to a wide variety of active devices in silicon photonics requiring lateral electrical access. This behavior is not predicted by the often-used effective-index-based methods, but is understood phenomenologically and also compared to prior numerical analysis and predictions of leaky mode behavior. It is shown that TM-like mode operation, critical to the operation of some active component designs, will require precision control of waveguide dimensions to achieve high performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-431
Number of pages3
JournalIEEE Photonics Technology Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2007


  • Leaky waves
  • Optical losses
  • Optical waveguides
  • Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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