Driven by IoT, Industry 4.0, and social media the amount of data to be transferred is tremendously increasing, pushing the need for energy-efficient device concepts for a vast variety of products such as photonic integrated circuits or sensors. Low energy data transfer can be achieved, for example, by replacing part of the electronic circuitry by optical data lines in chip-level packaging, or by introducing optical elements such as specially designed microlenses into semiconductor laser packaging. This also allows to drastically reduce footprints of systems, and – at the same time – to increase functionality. On the other hand, a significant demand is seen in providing lower cost and scalable manufacturing processes with technologies which provide highest flexibility.
High Precision 3D Printing as novel emerging fabrication technology is a promising tool for optical packaging. It enables to reduce the necessary process steps for packaging to only three to five, independently of the packaging task. This is enabled by a novel and versatile packaging concept where the chips and the dies are already mounted prior to the fabrication of optically functional elements such as optical interconnects or microoptics to couple, for example chip-to-chip or dies to fiber, with passive alignment only. Flexible exposure strategies using High Precision 3D Printing provide both, scalability and high throughput with fabrication times from seconds for optical waveguides and single microlenses to only a few minutes for more complex lens systems. The impact of the fabrication strategy will be discussed with respect to the performance of the optical devices.
Benedikt Stender, Willi Mantei, Alexander Krupp, Valentin Ratz, Fabian Hilbert, and Ruth Houbertz, "High-precision 3D printing as a versatile tool for integrated photonics (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10586, Advances in Patterning Materials and Processes XXXV, 1058614 (Presented at SPIE Advanced Lithography: March 01, 2018; Published: 19 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2297404.5754450016001.
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