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Proceedings Paper

Analysis of additive manufactured polymer optical waveguides: measurement and simulation of their waviness
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Paper Abstract

This paper analyzes an approach for additively manufacturing polymer optical waveguides. The production process includes flexographic printing of conditioning lines (5 μm height) on a substrate, which are used as guiding barriers in the subsequent printing of the optical core. The core is additively printed (up to 50 μm in height) with an aerosol jet printer, filling the gap between the conditioning lines. The conditioning lines do not only enhance the contact angle of the polymer, which results in a higher cross section of the waveguides, but also improve the straight edges of the printed waveguides. We show that the quality of the conditioning lines is directly correlated to the waviness of the waveguides. Consequently, the analyses of the waviness of the conditioning lines classifies the quality of the fabricated waveguides. However, the waviness of the waveguides can also be considered in optical simulations. In this paper we show how we derive a waveguide model with waviness by fitting a single sine function onto the topological data of the conditioning lines. With this model a variation of the waviness can easily be simulated and goals for fabrication can be set. With the simulations it is possible to verify that the measured waviness (period of 559.5 μm and an amplitude of 4.99 μm) does not affect the optical quality of the waveguides.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 February 2020
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 11283, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XXIV, 112831T (25 February 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2543202
Show Author Affiliations
C. Backhaus, Friedrich-Alexander-Univ. Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany)
G. A. Hoffmann, Leibniz Univ. Hannover (Germany)
T. Reitberger, Friedrich-Alexander-Univ. Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany)
Y. Eiche, Friedrich-Alexander-Univ. Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany)
L. Overmeyer, Leibniz Univ. Hannover (Germany)
J. Franke, Friedrich-Alexander-Univ. Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany)
N. Lindlein, Friedrich-Alexander-Univ. Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11283:
Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XXIV
Sonia M. García-Blanco; Pavel Cheben, Editor(s)

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