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Use of chemical-mechanical polishing for fabricating photonic bandgap structures

United States Patent

5,998,298
December 7, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A method is disclosed for fabricating a two- or three-dimensional photonic bandgap structure (also termed a photonic crystal, photonic lattice, or photonic dielectric structure). The method uses microelectronic integrated circuit (IC) processes to fabricate the photonic bandgap structure directly upon a silicon substrate. One or more layers of arrayed elements used to form the structure are deposited and patterned, with chemical-mechanical polishing being used to planarize each layer for uniformity and a precise vertical tolerancing of the layer. The use of chemical-mechanical planarization allows the photonic bandgap structure to be formed over a large area with a layer uniformity of about two-percent. Air-gap photonic bandgap structures can also be formed by removing a spacer material separating the arrayed elements by selective etching. The method is useful for fabricating photonic bandgap structures including Fabry-Perot resonators and optical filters for use at wavelengths in the range of about 0.2-20 .mu.m.
Fleming; James G. (Albuquerque, NM), Lin; Shawn-Yu (Albuquerque, NM), Hetherington; Dale L. (Albuquerque, NM), Smith; Bradley K. (Edgewood, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
09/ 067,614
April 28, 1998
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.