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Fabrication of free-standing lithium niobate nanowaveguides down to 50nm in width

: Geiss, R.; Sergeyev, A.; Hartung, H.; Solntsev, A.S.; Sukhorukov, A.A.; Grange, R.; Schrempel, F.; Kley, E.B.; Tünnermann, A.; Pertsch, T.


Nanotechnology 27 (2016), No.6, Art.065301
ISSN: 0957-4484
ISSN: 1361-6528
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
PE 1524/5-2
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
KL 1199/2-2
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IOF ()

Nonlinear optical nanoscale waveguides are a compact and powerful platform for efficient wavelength conversion. The free-standing waveguide geometry opens a range of applications in microscopy for local delivery of light, where in situ wavelength conversion helps to overcome various wavelength-dependent issues, such as biological tissue damage. In this paper, we present an original patterning method for high-precision fabrication of free-standing nanoscale waveguides based on lithium niobate, a material with a strong second-order nonlinearity and a broad transparency window covering the visible and mid-infrared wavelength ranges. The fabrication process combines electron-beam lithography with ion-beam enhanced etching and produces nanowaveguides with lengths from 5 to 50 mu m, widths from 50 to 1000 nm and heights from 50 to 500 nm, each with a precision of few nanometers. The fabricated nanowaveguides are tested in an optical characterization experiment showing efficient second-harmonic generation.