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Proceedings Paper

Microgroove fabrication with excimer laser ablation techniques for optical fiber array alignment purposes
Author(s): Kris Naessens; An Van Hove; Thierry Coosemans; Steven Verstuyft; Luc Vanwassenhove; Peter Van Daele; Roel G. Baets
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Paper Abstract

Currently, an ever increasing need for bandwidth, compactness and efficiency characterizes the world of interconnect and data communication. This tendency has already led to serial links being gradually replaced by parallel optical interconnect solutions. However, as the maximum capacity for the latter will be reached in the near future, new approaches are required to meet demand. One possible option is to switch to 2D parallel implementations of fiber arrays. In this paper we present the fabrication of a 2D connector for coupling a 4x8 array of plastic optical fibers to RCLED or VCSEL arrays. The connector consists primarily of dedicated PMMA plates in which arrays of 8 precisely dimensioned grooves at a pitch of 250 micrometers are introduced. The trenches are each 127 micrometers deep and their width is optimized to allow fixation of plastic optical fibers. We used excimer laser ablation for prototype fabrication of these alignment microstructures. In a later stage, the plates can be replicated using standard molding techniques. The laser ablation technique is extremely well suited for rapid prototyping and proves to be a versatile process yielding high accuracy dimensioning and repeatability of features in a wide diversity of materials. The dependency of the performance in terms of quality of the trenches (bottom roughness) and wall angle on various parameters (wavelength, energy density, pulse frequency and substrate material) is discussed. The fabricated polymer sheets with grooves are used to hold optical fibers by means of a UV-curable adhesive. In a final phase, the plates are stacked and glued in order to realize the 2D-connector of plastic optical fibers for short distance optical interconnects.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 November 2000
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4088, First International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication, (6 November 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.405724
Show Author Affiliations
Kris Naessens, Univ. of Ghent (Belgium)
An Van Hove, Univ. of Ghent (Belgium)
Thierry Coosemans, Univ. of Ghent (Belgium)
Steven Verstuyft, Univ. of Ghent (Belgium)
Luc Vanwassenhove, Univ. of Ghent (Belgium)
Peter Van Daele, Univ. of Ghent (Belgium)
Roel G. Baets, Univ. of Ghent (Belgium)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4088:
First International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication

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