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12 December 2003 Photodefined polymeric photonic materials and processes
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A photo patterned fabrication process for manufacture of passive polymer composite waveguide structures and devices is presented. The process takes advantage of compatibility between certain polymer/high vapor pressure monomer blends and their refractive index differences to directly photo define passive waveguide structures. With suitable catalysts, monomers present in the composite blend are polymerized in exposed areas, while allowed to evaporate in unexposed areas during a brief post exposure bake. Areas thus produced will have a different composition (i.e. refractive index) in exposed vs. unexposed areas and different thickness due to reactant loss. Composite blends consisting of polysulfone/epoxy or acrylic/epoxy have excellent compatibility for providing photo defined waveguide core regions in either the unexposed areas or exposed areas of processed thin films. Optical loss measurement comparisons for bulk polymer samples and composite thin films to the photo patterned waveguides indicate loss in the patterned waveguides are similar to the polymer intrinsic loss. Additionally, by taking advantage of the process providing control over refractive index and surface topography, other photonic components such as micro lenses can be fabricated.
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Thomas B. Gorczyca and Min-Yi Shih "Photodefined polymeric photonic materials and processes", Proc. SPIE 5179, Optical Materials and Structures Technologies, (12 December 2003);

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