Silica waveguide planar lightwave circuit (PLC) technology is driving the broad applications of various functional components to meet the increasing demands of the industry due to its advanced performance in large-scale wafer mass production. Despite the intense research interests in understanding and relaxing the stress causing the optical birefringence, not much research has been devoted to investigating the stress distribution. In this article, the thermal stress, growth-caused stress, and structural stress are comparably studied. The birefringence distribution of a 6 μm-thick SiO2
film from the center to the edge on a 6-inch silicon wafer was measured to be 0.0006 to 0.0038, leading to an equivalent stress distribution cross the wafer from −170 to −1000 MPa. This implies that the compressive stress of the thick SiO2
film on the wafer was nonuniformly distributed; however, it gradually increased from the center to the edge. Meanwhile, the measured stress of a SiO2
film decreased with the flow rate of the doped GeH4
gas. The algebraic sum of the above three stresses reached excellent agreement with the measurement results in both distribution form and amplitude. In both research and production, the agreeable optical property distributions between the theoretical calculations and experimental measurements are more sustainable to further improving the yields of SiO2
thick film PLC products.
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