Abstract

We describe two types of waveguides (type I and depressed cladding) inscribed in lithium niobate using a variable repetition rate (200 kHz–25 MHz), 270 fs duration fiber laser. The type I modification-based waveguides have propagation losses in the range from 1.2 to 10 dB/cm at 1550 nm, depending on experimental parameters. These waveguides are not permanent; they deteriorate over time. Such deterioration of waveguides can be slowed down from 30 days to 100 days by pre-annealing the samples and by writing at a 720 kHz laser repetition rate. The propagation losses measured at 1550 nm show significant improvement for pre-annealed samples. The depressed cladding-inscribed waveguides are permanent, but the propagation loss depends on the number of damage tracks. A track separation of 1  μm between adjacent damage tracks yields the lowest propagation loss of 0.5 dB/cm at 1550 nm for a 40 μm diameter waveguide. We observe multimode guidance for sizes in the range of 20–80 μm in these waveguide structures at 1550 nm. Their crystalline nature is found to remain intact, as inferred from second-harmonic generation within the waveguide region.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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