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Development of a technology for fabricating low-cost parallel optical interconnects

Geert Van Steenberge (UGent) , Nina Hendrickx (UGent) , Peter Geerinck (UGent) , Erwin Bosman (UGent) , Steven Van Put (UGent) and Peter Van Daele (UGent)
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Abstract
We present a fabrication technology for integrating polymer waveguides and 45 degrees 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 degrees 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.
Keywords
optical interconnect, laser ablation, polymer waveguide, printed circuit board (PCB), 45 degrees mirror, WAVE-GUIDES, BOARD-LEVEL, TRANSMISSION, SYSTEMS

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Van Steenberge, Geert, Nina Hendrickx, Peter Geerinck, Erwin Bosman, Steven Van Put, and Peter Van Daele. 2006. “Development of a Technology for Fabricating Low-cost Parallel Optical Interconnects.” In Proceedings of the Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (spie), ed. Hugo Thienpont, Mohammed R Taghizadeh, Peter Van Daele, and Jürgen Mohr. Vol. 6185. Bellingham, WA, USA: SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering.
APA
Van Steenberge, G., Hendrickx, N., Geerinck, P., Bosman, E., Van Put, S., & Van Daele, P. (2006). Development of a technology for fabricating low-cost parallel optical interconnects. In Hugo Thienpont, M. R. Taghizadeh, P. Van Daele, & J. Mohr (Eds.), PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY OF PHOTO-OPTICAL INSTRUMENTATION ENGINEERS (SPIE) (Vol. 6185). Presented at the Conference on Micro-Optics, VCSELs, and Photonic Interconnects II, Bellingham, WA, USA: SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering.
Vancouver
1.
Van Steenberge G, Hendrickx N, Geerinck P, Bosman E, Van Put S, Van Daele P. Development of a technology for fabricating low-cost parallel optical interconnects. In: Thienpont H, Taghizadeh MR, Van Daele P, Mohr J, editors. PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY OF PHOTO-OPTICAL INSTRUMENTATION ENGINEERS (SPIE). Bellingham, WA, USA: SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering; 2006.
MLA
Van Steenberge, Geert, Nina Hendrickx, Peter Geerinck, et al. “Development of a Technology for Fabricating Low-cost Parallel Optical Interconnects.” Proceedings of the Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (spie). Ed. Hugo Thienpont et al. Vol. 6185. Bellingham, WA, USA: SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering, 2006. Print.
@inproceedings{406167,
  abstract     = {We present a fabrication technology for integrating polymer waveguides and 45 degrees 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 {\textacutedbl}yellowing effect{\textacutedbl} 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 degrees 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.},
  author       = {Van Steenberge, Geert and Hendrickx, Nina and Geerinck, Peter and Bosman, Erwin and Van Put, Steven and Van Daele, Peter},
  booktitle    = {PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY OF PHOTO-OPTICAL INSTRUMENTATION ENGINEERS (SPIE)},
  editor       = {Thienpont, Hugo and Taghizadeh, Mohammed R and Van Daele, Peter and Mohr, J{\"u}rgen},
  isbn         = {0-8194-6241-1},
  issn         = {0277-786X},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Strasbourg, France},
  pages        = {8},
  publisher    = {SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering},
  title        = {Development of a technology for fabricating low-cost parallel optical interconnects},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.663499},
  volume       = {6185},
  year         = {2006},
}

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