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10 February 2006 Development of a fabrication technology for integrating low cost optical interconnects on a printed circuit board
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We present a fabrication technology for integrating polymer waveguides and 45° micromirror couplers into standard electrical printed circuit boards (PCBs). The most critical point that is being addressed is the low-cost manufacturing and the compatibility with current PCB production. The latter refers to the processes as well as material compatibility. Multimode waveguides are patterned by KrF excimer laser ablation in acrylate polymers with 0.13 dB/cm propagation loss at 850 nm. Single mode waveguides using inorganic-organic hybrid polymers show an attenuation loss of 0.62 ± 0.08 dB/cm at 1.3 μm. A process for embedding metal coated 45° micromirrors in optical waveguiding layers is developed. Mirrors are selectively metallized using a lift-off process. Filling up the angled via without the presence of air bubbles and providing a flat surface above the mirror is only possible by enhancing the cladding deposition process with ultrasound agitation. Initial single mode coupling loss measurements at 1.3 μm show an excess mirror loss of 1.55 dB. Multimode coupling loss measurements will improve this excess loss, because of the lower surface roughness of the mirrors using the acrylate polymers for multimode waveguides.
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Geert Van Steenberge, Nina Hendrickx, Peter Geerinck, Erwin Bosman, Steven Van Put, Jurgen Van Erps, Hugo Thienpont, and Peter Van Daele "Development of a fabrication technology for integrating low cost optical interconnects on a printed circuit board", Proc. SPIE 6126, Photonics Packaging and Integration VI, 612603 (10 February 2006);

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