Lithium niobate has attracted much attention since the 1970s due to its capacity to modify the light by means of an electric control. In this chapter, we review the evolution of electro-optical (EO) lithium niobate waveguides throughout the years, from Ti-indiffused waveguides to photonic crystals. The race toward ever smaller EO components with ever-lower optical losses and power consumption has stimulated numerous studies, the challenge consisting of strongly confining the light while preserving low losses. We show how waveguides have evolved toward ridges or thin film-based microguides to increase the EO efficiency and reduce the driving voltage. In particular, a focus is made on an easy-to-implement technique using a circular precision saw to produce thin ridge waveguides or suspended membranes with low losses.
Part of the book: Emerging Waveguide Technology