23 February 2018 Precise core alignment in fabrication of polymer optical waveguides using the Mosquito method for three-dimensional optical circuits
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Abstract
Polymer optical waveguides fabricated using the Mosquito method are expected to realize high bandwidth density 3-dimensional (3-D) on-board wiring. In the Mosquito method, the waveguides are fabricated by dispensing a liquid core monomer into a liquid cladding monomer using a microdispenser. Hence, for the on-board applications particularly 3-D wiring, the core position and alignment accuracies are important to couple the waveguides with the other optical components with high efficiency. We already succeeded in fabricating graded-index core multimode polymer optical waveguides with low propagation loss using the Mosquito method. However, the positions of the formed cores tended to deviate from the original design, since both the core and cladding monomers are in the liquid state during the Mosquito process.

In this paper, we apply a fluid analysis simulation using a COMSOL Multiphysics® in order to theoretically simulate the influence of several fabrication parameters on the core position. The calculated core height deviation from the designed height is dependent on the needle-tip height, because the core positions are influenced by the pressure distribution of cladding monomer caused by the monomer flow. Meanwhile, we find that the monomer wetting on the needle outer wall also affects the core height. When the effect of monomer wetting is taken into account, the simulated core heights are different from the results without the effect of monomer wetting and we can theoretically predict the height of the formed core. Finally, we confirm that the core height can be controlled by adjusting the needle-tip height setting in which the effect of the monomer flow and wetting theoretically calculated is taken into account in the Mosquito method.
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Kumi Date, Koji Fukagata, Takaaki Ishigure, "Precise core alignment in fabrication of polymer optical waveguides using the Mosquito method for three-dimensional optical circuits", Proc. SPIE 10535, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XXII, 105351Y (23 February 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2289206; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2289206
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