We experimentally investigate the optical loss of graded-index (GI) core polymer optical waveguides with a 45-degree mirror on their one end fabricated using the photo-addressing method. In addition, we also theoretically analyze the loss of GI square-core waveguides with mirrors using a ray-trace simulation tool. Then, in the waveguide based optical link including the optical path conversions via 45-degree mirrors, we show that GI waveguides realize lower total optical loss than conventional step-index (SI) core waveguides. The lower loss in the GI waveguide link is attributed to the tight optical confinement at the core center even after reflection at the mirrors.
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