Optical devices are necessary to meet the anticipated future requirements for ultrafast and ultrahigh bandwidth communication and computing. All optical information processing can overcome optoelectronic conversions that limit both the speed and bandwidth and are also power consuming. The building block of an optical device/circuit is the optical waveguide, which enables low-loss light propagation and is thereby used to connect components and devices. This chapter reviews optical waveguides and their classification on the basis of geometry (Non-Planar (Slab/Optical Fiber)/Planar (Buried Channel, Strip-Loaded, Wire, Rib, Diffused, Slot, etc.)), refractive index (Step/Gradient Index), mode propagation (Single/Multimode), and material platform (Glass/Polymer/Semiconductor, etc.). A comparative analysis of waveguides realized in different material platforms along with the propagation loss is also presented.
Part of the book: Emerging Waveguide Technology