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30 September 2005 Laser ablated coupling structures for optical printed circuit boards
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We report on the cost effective fabrication of 45° micromirror couplers within single-mode polymer waveguides for achieving fully embedded board-level optoelectronic interconnections. Compatibility with existing board manufacturing technology is achieved by making use of polymers with high thermal stability. The sol-gel polymers behave as negative photo resist and waveguides are patterned by UV exposure. Micromirrors are fabricated using excimer laser ablation, a very flexible technology that is particularly well suited for structuring of polymers because of their excellent UV-absorption properties and highly non-thermal ablation behavior. A coupling structure based on total internal reflection (TIR) is enhanced by developing a process for embedding a metal coated 45° mirror in the optical layers. The mirrors are selectively metallized using a lift-off process. Filling up the angled via without the presence of air bubbles and providing a flat surface above the mirror is only possible by enhancing the cladding deposition process with ultrasound agitation. Surface roughness of both the mirrors and the upper cladding surface above the mirrors is investigated using a non-contact optical profiler. Initial loss measurements at 1.3 μm show a propagation loss of 0.62 dB/cm and an excess mirror loss of 1.55 dB. During most recent experiments mirror roughness has been reduced from 160 nm to 20 nm, which will seriously reduce the mirror loss.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Geert Van Steenberge, Peter Geerinck, Markus Riester, Siegfried Pongratz, and Peter Van Daele "Laser ablated coupling structures for optical printed circuit boards", Proc. SPIE 5956, Integrated Optics: Theory and Applications, 59561A (30 September 2005);

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