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Dry Etching Technology For Optical Devices

S. Pang
Published 2002 · Materials Science

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Publisher Summary This chapter reviews dry etching technology used for the fabrication of high-performance optical devices. Various plasma systems are used for dry etching. High-density plasma systems with an inductively coupled plasma source provide better control and more flexibility because ion density and ion energy can be adjusted using separate power supplies. The chapter presents a number of dry etched optical devices, including high aspect ratio vertical mirrors in silicon (Si) as optical switching arrays, dry etched mirrors in gallium arsenide/ aluminum gallium arsenide (GaAs/AlGaAs) for microcavities and triangular ring lasers, high reflectivity horizontal distributed Bragg reflector mirrors with air gaps between semiconductor layers, and photonic bandgap lasers. All these optical devices require precise control of etch depth, etch profile, and smooth morphology. The chapter further discusses the importance of developing low-damage dry etching technology, and reviews the techniques to minimize surface damage. With precisely controlled, low-damage dry etching technology, high-performance optical devices using dry etched components can be achieved.
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