Nanoimprint lithography fabrication of waveguide-integrated optical gratings with inexpensive stamps
We demonstrate that a replica grating can be effectively used as an inexpensive stamp for nanoimprint lithography to pattern diffractive optical couplers integrated with planar optical waveguides. Imprinted grating patterns were integrated with silicon oxynitride waveguide films to be used as an evanescent wave sensor in the input grating-coupler configuration. An anti-adhesion layer using an inexpensive, two-step chemical functionalization was developed for the stamps. The stamps were able to withstand imprint temperatures ranging from 140 to 190 °C and high fidelity imprints were obtained. The groove pattern was integrated in waveguide films by etch transfer and light-coupling properties of gratings with 1.2 ?m pitch were tested using a ? = 1.55 ?m laser. Compared to etched silicon masters, replica optical gratings provide uniform pattern density over their entire surface with no unstructured regions, are inexpensive, and readily available for R&D use.