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Proceedings Paper

Towards roll-to-roll manufacturing of polymer photonic devices
Author(s): Harish Subbaraman; Xiaohui Lin; Tao Ling; L. Jay Guo; Ray T. Chen
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Paper Abstract

Traditionally, polymer photonic devices are fabricated using clean-room processes such as photolithography, e-beam lithography, reactive ion etching (RIE) and lift-off methods etc, which leads to long fabrication time, low throughput and high cost. We have utilized a novel process for fabricating polymer photonic devices using a combination of imprinting and ink jet printing methods, which provides high throughput on a variety of rigid and flexible substrates with low cost. We discuss the manufacturing challenges that need to be overcome in order to realize true implementation of roll-to-roll manufacturing of flexible polymer photonic systems. Several metrology and instrumentation challenges involved such as availability of particulate-free high quality substrate, development and implementation of high-speed in-line and off-line inspection and diagnostic tools with adaptive control for patterned and unpatterned material films, development of reliable hardware, etc need to be addressed and overcome in order to realize a successful manufacturing process. Due to extreme resolution requirements compared to print media, the burden of software and hardware tools on the throughput also needs to be carefully determined. Moreover, the effect of web wander and variations in web speed need to accurately be determined in the design of the system hardware and software. In this paper, we show the realization of solutions for few challenges, and utilizing these solutions for developing a high-rate R2R dual stage ink-jet printer that can provide alignment accuracy of <10m at a web speed of 5m/min. The development of a roll-to-roll manufacturing system for polymer photonic systems opens limitless possibilities for the deployment of high performance components in a variety of applications including communication, sensing, medicine, agriculture, energy, lighting etc.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 March 2014
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8991, Optical Interconnects XIV, 899116 (8 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2044229
Show Author Affiliations
Harish Subbaraman, Omega Optics, Inc. (United States)
Xiaohui Lin, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Tao Ling, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
L. Jay Guo, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Ray T. Chen, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8991:
Optical Interconnects XIV
Henning Schröder; Ray T. Chen; Alexei L. Glebov, Editor(s)

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