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We propose and demonstrate a very low insertion loss silica-based arrayed-waveguide grating (AWG) achieved using a novel structure, which has vertically tapered waveguides between arrayed-waveguides to reduce the slab-to-arrayed-waveguide transition loss. A spot-size converter is also incorporated in the AWG to reduce the fiber-to-waveguide coupling loss. The structure can be formed by a process involving the conventional photolithography and reactive ion etching. The structure provided a loss reduction of 1.5 dB. Moreover, we have successfully obtained a minimum insertion loss of 0.75 dB with a crosstalk of -40 dB and polarization-independent operation.