New Mexico Patent of the Month – September 2021

An optical waveguide is a physical structure that guides electromagnetic waves in the optical spectrum. They are often integrated on semiconductor chips for use in fiber-optic communication systems. Skorpios Technologies, Inc. is an optical communications company who is working towards the next generation of high speed infrastructure products by developing novel transceiver and subsystem supply chains. Recently, they have developed a multistage spot size converter in silicon photonics to further this endeavor.

Their device is designed with an optical mode spot size conversion which optically couples a semiconductor waveguide with an optical fiber. The design uses a spot size converter (SSC) to couple a smaller optical mode to a larger optical mode. The SSC has a taper region and a mode converter. The SSC optically couples a semiconductor waveguide to the right of the taper region and an optical fiber to the left of the mode converter. Both the taper region and the mode converter are made of a single substrate on a silicon insulating layer and allow a smooth transition between optical modes. In addition to these design novelties, Skorpios utilizes novel materials to create the most effective silicon photonics. Their optical waveguide spot size converter enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of their photonics devices.

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