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Proceedings Paper

Fabrication of optical waveguides by the diffusion of Disperse Red 1 dye
Author(s): Stephanie L. Jones; Richard W. Ridgway; James R. Busch; Paul G. Andrus
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Paper Abstract

A method for fabricating moldable guest-host polymer waveguides by a diffusion process using an ethylene glycol/methanol mixture as the solvent was developed. The change in refractive index to create the guiding layer was obtained by the use of a small quantity of Disperse Red 1 dye added to the solvent mixture. The mixture of the two solvents serves two purposes. First, the ethylene glycol facilitates thorough dissolution of the dye. Secondly, the presence of methanol allows diffusion of the dye into the PMMA to occur more readily. The effects of various diffusion temperatures and mixture concentration levels on the ultimate index of refraction change were investigated. In addition, the number of guided modes was determined for each sample and the optical loss was measured using prism couplers for input and output coupling. Superficially, the waveguide surfaces do not appear to be adversely affected by the solvent mixture and the profile of the diffused dye possesses sufficient uniformity to allow the input beam to be detectable with the unaided eye at a length of at least 5 cm, this value being limited by the physical length of the waveguides fabricated rather than by the optical loses of the waveguide. The waveguides fabricated by this method vary in their properties depending on fabrication parameters, including diffusion time and temperature as well as dye concentration. Those diffused at lower temperatures or for a shorter duration supported fewer modes. The waveguides fabricated support between one and six modes of both TE and TM waves.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 1997
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3008, Miniaturized Systems with Micro-Optics and Micromechanics II, (11 April 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.271430
Show Author Affiliations
Stephanie L. Jones, Battelle (United States)
Richard W. Ridgway, Battelle (United States)
James R. Busch, Battelle (United States)
Paul G. Andrus, Battelle (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3008:
Miniaturized Systems with Micro-Optics and Micromechanics II
M. Edward Motamedi; Larry J. Hornbeck; Kristofer S. J. Pister, Editor(s)

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