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PDSM characterization for fabrication of free-space OXC optical components
Author(s): Victor Argueta; Brianna Fitzpatrick
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Paper Abstract

In 2007 Dr Khine et al published a paper where they presented a technique using thermoplastics and PDMS to create microfluidic patterns1. Their technique involves printing a pattern in a polystyrene sheet using a laser printer. Once the pattern is transfer the polystyrene sheets they are heated to reduce their size. By printing the same pattern of the plastic sheets before heating, it is possible to control the height up to 80 μm and the width as thin as 65 μm1, 2. This technique is attractive to be used in optical fabrication due to its versatility, low cost and fast prototyping. However, in order to fabricate optical systems, we will need to control the refractive index of PDMS to allow design of basic optical components like waveguides, beam splitter, or diffuse reflectors; or more complex structures like interferometers, optical microfluidic lab-on-chip, micro-lens arrays. Several techniques exist to control the refractive index for PDMS either by controlling the curing temperature, the ratio between the base and curing agent, or by curing using UV light3-5. In this paper, we present the changes on refractive index by changing the curing temperature for different base/reaction agent ratios. We then apply these results to fabricate an optical component for a free-space optical cross-connect (OXC). Optical cross-connects are an important network element for constructing the next generation of optical networks, where provisioning (reconfiguration), scalability, and fast restoration will be needed6-8. The main attraction of all-optical switching is that it enables routing of optical data signals without the need for conversion to electrical signals, and therefore, is independent of data rate and data protocols. We have proposed previously9, 11 a new approach for an OXC. Our architecture is a free-space 3-D while still using digital MEMS. Our system is based on the optical White cell12, which consists of three spherical mirrors among which light can circulate. In Section II, we will briefly mention the basic characteristics of the binary White cell OXC configuration. Section III we will introduce the changes induced on curing PDMS, our SDD design and its fabrication for two different beam displacements. Finally, in Section IV, we will present the summary and conclusions of our work.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 November 2017
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 10590, International Optical Design Conference 2017, 1059026 (27 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2286656
Show Author Affiliations
Victor Argueta, Alma College (United States)
Brianna Fitzpatrick, Alma College (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10590:
International Optical Design Conference 2017
Peter P. Clark; Julius A. Muschaweck; Richard N. Pfisterer; John R. Rogers, Editor(s)

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