Abstract

A quasi-optical approach is developed to investigate the effects of absorption and surface and volume scattering on the attenuation of guided waves in planar waveguides. Through the use of quasi-optics it is possible to calculate the guide extinction coefficient by following a zigzagging ray in the guide. It is found that at shorter wavelengths the film attenuation dominates the cladding attenuation despite the much smaller relative value of the film absorption coefficient. The absorption spectra of cladding material are more distorted for fundamental modes than for higher-order guided modes. Scattering losses, particularly those that are due to surface roughness, depend more strongly on optical wavelength than do absorption losses. In the cases of both surface scattering and volume scattering, the losses are increased at shorter wavelengths and are larger for the TM modes.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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