Alumina Thin Films as Optical Waveguides

Bethanie J H Stadler, Manuel Oliveria, Lionel O. Bouthillette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Amorphous AI2O3, fabricated by reactive rf magnetron sputtering, has been evaluated as a planar waveguide material. The microstructure and optical properties of planar waveguides were examined as a function of deposition (substrate temperature, O2 flow rate) and annealing conditions. X‐ray and electron diffraction verified that as‐deposited films were amorphous for substrate temperatures up to 500°C and for a wide range of O2 flow rates. This amorphous phase was stable through anneals up to 800°C, but crystallized to “y‐Al2O3 at 1000°C and to α‐Al2O3 at 1200°C. The amorphous films had transmission windows that extended from 200 nm to 7 (Am with an average refractive index of 1.65 and reproducible losses as low as ∼1 dB/cm at 632.8 nm. The refractive index increased with substrate temperature, but was independent of O2 flow rate. The losses decreased with substrate temperature and increased as a function of O2 flow rate. As a final check on the amorphous structure, Cr‐doped films were prepared by codeposition. Fluoresence was detected only in annealed crystalline films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3336-3344
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1995


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