We report on the design and fabrication of hard and flexible optical printed circuit boards (O-PCBs).
The objective is to realize generic and application-specific O-PCBs, either in hard form or flexible form,
that are compact, light-weight, low-energy, high-speed, intelligent, and environmentally friendly, for
low-cost and high-volume universal applications. The O-PCBs consist of 2-dimensional planar arrays of
micro/nano-scale optical wires, circuits and devices that are interconnected and integrated to perform the
functions of sensing, storing, transporting, processing, switching, routing and distributing optical signals
on flat modular boards. For fabrication, the polymer and organic optical wires and waveguides are first
fabricated on a board and are used to interconnect and integrate micro/nano-scale photonic devices. The
micro/nano-optical functional devices include lasers, detectors, switches, sensors, directional couplers,
multi-mode interference devices, ring-resonators, photonic crystal devices, plasmonic devices, and
quantum devices. For flexible boards, the optical waveguide arrays are fabricated on flexible poly-ethylen
terephthalate (PET) substrates by UV embossing. Electrical layer carrying VCSEL and PD array
is laminated with the optical layer carrying waveguide arrays. Both hard and flexible electrical lines are
replaced with high speed optical interconnection between chips over four waveguide channels up to
10Gbps on each. We discuss uses of hard or flexible O-PCBs for telecommunication systems, computer
systems, transportation systems, space/avionic systems, and bio-sensor systems.