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26 October 2004 Hybrid integrated optics in volume holographic photopolymer
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Traditional planar lightwave circuits fabricated from lithographically-patterned waveguides in glasses, semi-conductors or polymers cannot accommodate the wide range of materials required by typical optical devices. In addition, such waveguides are nearly always defined in the material surface and thus can support only a limited density of interconnects and suffer poor performance at waveguide crossings. Furthermore, the inflexibility of lithographic approaches -- including both waveguides and "silicon-bench" methods -- requires optical sub-components with unreasonable and expensive tolerances. We propose an alternative integrated optics platform based on 3D direct-write lithography into an optically addressable encapsulant. Arbitrary micro-optics are first embedded in a liquid monomer which is then cured into a semi-solid pre-polymer. It is essential that this step take place with minimal shrinkage to avoid stresses. A scanning confocal microscope then nondestructively identifies the component locations and their tolerances. The controller customizes the circuit design to accommodate these tolerances and then scans a 0.3 to 0.6 NA focus within the volume of the holographic polymer to create waveguides, lenses or other passive interconnects with one micron resolution. A final incoherent exposure cures and solidifies the polymer, finishing the process. The resulting hybrid optoelectronic circuits contain 3D routed waveguides interconnecting active and passive micro-optic devices in environmentally robust, hermetically sealed packages. A feature of particular interest is the ability to write waveguides directly off of the tips of embedded fibers, passively interfacing the circuits to fiber. We show that polymers developed for holographic data storage have the properties required for this application.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert R. McLeod, Amy C. Sullivan, Matthew W. Grabowski, and Timothy F. Scott "Hybrid integrated optics in volume holographic photopolymer", Proc. SPIE 5521, Organic Holographic Materials and Applications II, (26 October 2004);

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