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21 April 2006 Development of a technology for fabricating low-cost parallel optical interconnects
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Abstract
We present a fabrication technology for integrating polymer waveguides and 45° micromirror couplers into standard electrical printed circuit boards (PCBs). The most critical point that is being addressed is the low-cost manufacturing and the compatibility with current PCB production. The latter refers to the processes as well as material compatibility. In the fist part the waveguide fabrication technology is discussed, both photo lithography and laser ablation are proposed. It is shown that a frequency tripled Nd-YAG laser (355 nm) offers a lot of potential for defining single mode interconnections. Emphasis is on multimode waveguides, defined by KrF excimer laser (248 nm) ablation using acrylate polymers. The first conclusion out of loss spectrum measurements is a 'yellowing effect' of laser ablated waveguides, leading to an increased loss at shorter wavelengths. The second important conclusion is a potential low loss at a wavelength of 850 nm, 980 nm and 1310 nm. This is verified at 850 nm by cut-back measurements on 10-cm-long waveguides showing an average propagation loss of 0.13 dB/cm. Photo lithographically defined waveguides using inorganic-organic hybrid polymers show an attenuation loss of 0.15 dB/cm at 850 nm. The generation of debris and the presence of microstructures are two main concerns for KrF excimer laser ablation of hybrid polymers. In the second part a process for embedding metal coated 45° micromirrors in optical waveguiding layers is described. 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. Initial loss measurements indicate an excess mirror loss of 1.5 dB.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Geert Van Steenberge, Nina Hendrickx, Peter Geerinck, Erwin Bosman, Steven Van Put, and Peter Van Daele "Development of a technology for fabricating low-cost parallel optical interconnects", Proc. SPIE 6185, Micro-Optics, VCSELs, and Photonic Interconnects II: Fabrication, Packaging, and Integration, 618507 (21 April 2006); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.663499
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