9 February 2011 Polymeric waveguide array with 45 degree slopes fabricated by bottom side tilted exposure
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Abstract
This paper demonstrated a practical fabrication process of polymeric waveguide array (12 channels) with 50μm(W)×50μm(H)×23mm(L) dimension and mirror embedded 45° degree slopes for vertical coupling purpose. The entire process contained three main parts: a SU8 pre-mold with 45° slope, a PDMS mold and the final waveguide array device. The key step of fabricating the pre-mold included a bottom side tilted exposure of SU8 photo resist. By placing the sample upside down, tilting by 58.7° and immersing into DI water, the ultraviolet (UV) beam that shined vertically was directed to go through from the bottom of the glass substrate into top side SU8 resist with 45° angle to form the surface. This method was able to guarantee no-gap contact between the mask pattern and the photo resist when exposing. By comparing the process complexity and achieved structure of the top and bottom side exposure, the later was proved to be a promising method for making high quality tilted structure without any tailing effect. The reversed PDMS mold was then fabricated on the SU8 pre-mold. The PDMS mold was used to imprint the cladding layer of the waveguide array. After metal deposition, core filling and top cladding layer coating, the final polymeric waveguide array device was achieved. For performance evaluation, 850nm laser beam from VCSEL was modulated to 10Gbps signals and vertically coupled into the waveguide array. The eye diagrams revealed high Q factor when transmitting signals along these waveguide array.
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Xiaohui Lin, Xinyuan Dou, Alan X. Wang, Ray T. Chen, "Polymeric waveguide array with 45 degree slopes fabricated by bottom side tilted exposure", Proc. SPIE 7944, Optoelectronic Interconnects and Component Integration XI, 794411 (9 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.876036; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.876036
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