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A planar waveguide based on an amorphous silicon-amorphous silicon carbide heterostructure is proposed for the realization of passive and active optical components at the wavelengths /spl lambda/=1.3-1.5 μm. The waveguide has been realized by low temperature plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition and is compatible with the standard microelectronic technologies. Thermo-optical induced modulation at /spl lambda/=1.5 μm is demonstrated in this waveguide. Numerical simulations predict that operation frequencies of about 3 MHz are possible. The measurements have also allowed the determination of the previously unknown thermo-optical coefficient of undoped amorphous silicon at this wavelength.