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Proceedings Paper

Prototyping micro-optical components with integrated out-of-plane coupling structures using deep lithography with protons
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Paper Abstract

We present Deep Lithography with Protons (DLP) as a rapid prototyping technology to fabricate waveguide-based micro-optical components with monolithically integrated 45° micro-mirrors acting as out-of-plane couplers, splitting the optical signal in 3 separated paths. For the first time, two different proton beam sizes are used during one irradiation and a 20μm collimating aperture is chosen to accurately define the out-of-plane coupling structures. We fully optimized the DLP process for this 20μm proton beam and we measured the surface roughness (Rq=27.5nm) and the flatness (Rt=3.17μm) of the realized components. Finally, we experimentally measured the optical transmission efficiency of the micro-optical splitter component. The results are in excellent agreement with non-sequential ray-tracing simulations performed for the design. Above that, we present a pluggable out-of-plane coupler incorporating a single micro-mirror for the 90° coupling of light to or from polymer multimode waveguides integrated on a printed circuit board (PCB). This millimeter-sized mass-reproducible component can then be readily inserted into laser ablated cavities. Nonsequential ray-tracing simulations are performed to predict the optical performance of the component, showing coupling efficiencies up to 78%. These results are then experimentally verified using piezo-motorized positioning equipment with submicron accuracy in a multimode fiber-to-fiber coupling scheme, showing coupling efficiencies up to 56%. The fabricated coupling components are suitable for low-cost mass production since our micro-optical prototyping technology is compatible with standard replication techniques, such as hot embossing and injection molding, has been shown before.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 April 2006
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 6185, Micro-Optics, VCSELs, and Photonic Interconnects II: Fabrication, Packaging, and Integration, 618504 (21 April 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.663372
Show Author Affiliations
Jürgen Van Erps, Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)
Lawrence Bogaert, Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)
Bart Volckaerts, Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)
Christof Debaes, Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)
Hugo Thienpont, Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6185:
Micro-Optics, VCSELs, and Photonic Interconnects II: Fabrication, Packaging, and Integration
Hugo Thienpont; Mohammad R. Taghizadeh; Peter Van Daele; Jürgen Mohr, Editor(s)

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