We propose a robust polarization rotator based on the mode-evolution mechanism. The polarization rotation in a silicon wire waveguide is achieved by forming an amorphous silicon (a-Si) overlayer and an SiO2 spacer on top of the waveguide. A strip pattern of a constant width is designed to be etched through the overlayer at a specific angle with respect to the Si waveguide. The asymmetry in the a-Si overlayer affects the waveguide mode by rotating the modal axis. This polarization rotator design is amenable to comparatively simple fabrication compatible with standard silicon photonic processing for integration. The length of the rotation section is 17 μhbox{m} and the broadband operation is achieved with a rotation efficiency higher than 90% for a wavelength range exceeding 135 nm. A maximum polarization rotation efficiency of 99.5% is predicted by calculation.

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IEEE Photonics Journal
Department of Electronics

Xiong, Y. (Yule), Xu, D.-X. (Dan-Xia), Schmid, J.H. (Jens H.), Cheben, P. (Pavel), Janz, S. (Siegfried), & Ye, W.N. (2014). Robust Silicon Waveguide Polarization Rotator with an Amorphous Silicon Overlayer. IEEE Photonics Journal, 6(2). doi:10.1109/JPHOT.2014.2306827