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28 August 2002 High-performance polymer waveguide devices via low-cost direct photolithography process
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Proceedings Volume 4904, Optical Fiber and Planar Waveguide Technology II; (2002)
Event: Asia-Pacific Optical and Wireless Communications 2002, 2002, Shanghai, China
All-optical networks provide unique opportunities for polymer waveguide devices because of their excellent mechanical, thermo-optic, and electro-optic properties. Polymer materials and components have been viewed as a viable solution for metropolitan and local area networks where high volume and low cost components are needed. In this paper, we present our recent progress on the design and development of photoresist-like highly fluorinated maleimide copolymers including waveguide fabrication and optical testing. We have developed and synthesized a series of thermally stable, (Tg>150 oC, Td>300 oC) highly fluorinated (>50%) maleimide copolymers by radical co-polymerization of halogenated maleimides with various halogenated co-monomers. A theoretical correlation between optical loss and different co-polymer structures has been quantitatively established from C-H overtone analysis. We studied this correlation through design and manipulation of the copolymer structure by changing the primary properties such as molecular weight, copolymer composition, copolymer sequence distribution, and variations of the side chain including photochemically functional side units. Detailed analysis has been obtained using various characterization methods such as (H, C13, F19) NMR, UV-NIR, FTIR, GPC and so forth. The copolymers exhibit excellent solubility in ketone solvents and high quality thin films can be prepared by spin coating. The polymer films were found to have a refractive index range of 1.42-1.67 and optical loss in the range of 0.2 to 0.4 dB/cm at 1550nm depending on the composition as extrapolated from UV-NIR spectra. When glycidyl methacrylate is incorporated into the polymer backbone, the material behaves like a negative photoresist with the addition of cationic photoinitiator. The final crosslinked waveguides show excellent optical and thermal properties. The photolithographic processing of the highly fluorinated copolymer material was examined in detail using insitu FTIR. The influence of various polymer structural parameters on the photosensitivity and photo contrast of the polymer has been evaluated in detail. The same polymeric material has been tested using hot micro-embossing and Ebeam lithography to fabricate channel waveguides and other microstructures. The versatility of this unique photocrosslinkable thermoplastic material for various passive and active optical components is discussed in detail.
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Jianguo Wang, Paul J. Shustack, and Sean M. Garner "High-performance polymer waveguide devices via low-cost direct photolithography process", Proc. SPIE 4904, Optical Fiber and Planar Waveguide Technology II, (28 August 2002);

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