Living Reference Work Entry

Handbook of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

pp 1-29

Date: Latest Version

Characterization of Sol-Gel Thin-Film Waveguides

  • Giancarlo C. RighiniAffiliated withMuseo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche Enrico FermiNello Carrara Institute of Applied Physics, CNR Email author 


Integrated optics is a branch of photonics allowing sophisticated and innovative solutions to many problems. As glasses exhibit many useful characteristics such as relatively low cost, excellent transparency, high threshold to optical damage, and easiness of doping with active and functional atoms and oxides, glass optical waveguides represent one of the simplest and most attractive building blocks over which photonic integrated circuits can be fabricated.

Sol–gel technology has proved to be suitable to produce high-quality optical waveguides by single- and multilayer deposition. An accurate characterization of the produced waveguides is necessary in order to establish a correlation between the final properties and the parameters of the deposition process and hence to optimize the design and fabrication of the waveguides. Here a brief overview of the measurement techniques for sol–gel passive and active waveguides is presented.