Silicon nitride waveguide polarization rotator and polarization beam splitter for chip-scale atomic systems


The design, fabrication, and characterization of a silicon nitride waveguide polarization rotator and polarization beam splitter that operate with a polarization extinction ratio (PER) of ∼30 dB at the rubidium atomic transition of 780 nm wavelength are demonstrated. These polarization devices are fabricated on the same chip using a self-aligned process for integration of the rib and ridge waveguide structures. The polarization rotator is based on the mode evolution approach using adiabatic tapers and demonstrates a PER of ≥20 dB over a 100 nm bandwidth (730–830 nm wavelengths) with an insertion loss (IL) ≤1 dB. The polarization beam splitter is based on a cascaded tapered asymmetric directional coupler with phase matching between the fundamental and higher order TM modes, whereas the TE mode is separated by the through port. This provides a PER ≥ 20 dB with IL ≤ 1 dB over a 50 nm bandwidth for the cross port and a PER ≥ 15 dB with an IL ≤ 1 dB over an 18 nm bandwidth for the through port. These polarization control waveguide devices will enable photonic integrated circuits for saturated absorption spectroscopy of atomic vapors for laser stabilization on-chip.

APL Photonics