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Structured Materials Industries, Inc. (SMI) announced that it has been awarded a Phase II STTR by the National Science Foundation to develop LiNbO3 thin films by MOCVD. In this program, SMI is teamed with the University of Wisconsin at Madison to transfer and convert University-led research into a manufacturing-friendly process. Conventional LiNbO3 devices are fabricated by titanium indiffusion or proton exchange to form shallow waveguiding channels in bulk LiNbO3; the chemical inertness of LiNbO3 makes etched structures such as ridge waveguides impractical. The new process is focused on forming films of engineered compositions that can be processed into ridge waveguides with minimal light leakage and lower drive voltages, as shown in the figure. In order to achieve this technology breakthrough, SMI will develop a new MOCVD tool and process dedicated to the nuances of LiNbO3 film deposition.
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