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Proceedings Paper

Mode-field matching design, 3D fabrication and characterization of down-tapers on single-mode optical fiber tips for coupling to photonic integrated circuits
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Paper Abstract

Photonic Integrated Circuits have made it possible to decrease the footprint of traditionally bulky optical systems and they create opportunities for various new and fascinating applications. One of the limiting factors for the widespread adaption of PICs is their connection to the outside world. As the mode field diameter of optical modes in waveguides tends to be an order of magnitude smaller than in their fiber counterparts, creating an efficient, robust and alignmenttolerant fiber-to-chip interface remains a challenge. In this work, we investigate the optimization of the fiber-side of the optical interface, whereas the chip itself remains untouched and makes use of spot-size convertors. Optical fiber tips can be functionalized using two-photon polymerization-based 3D nanoprinting technology, which offers full 3D design freedom and sub-micrometer resolution. We present a down-taper design strategy to match the mode-field diameter of single-mode optical fibers to the modefield diameter of waveguides with spot-size converters on PICs. The 3D printed down-tapers are characterized towards their geometry and mode shape, and we experimentally demonstrate their use for coupling towards a Silicon-On-Insulator chip with spot-size convertors. Furthermore, the performance of these down-tapered fibers is compared to conventional lensed fibers in terms of optical coupling efficiency.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 March 2020
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 11349, 3D Printed Optics and Additive Photonic Manufacturing II, 1134907 (30 March 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2555770
Show Author Affiliations
Koen Vanmol, Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)
Kumar Saurav, CommScope, Inc. (Belgium)
Vivek Panapakkam, CommScope, Inc. (Belgium)
Dries Van Thourhout, Ghent Univ. (Belgium)
Hugo Thienpont, Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)
Nathalie Vermeulen, Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)
Jan Watté, CommScope, Inc. (Belgium)
Jürgen Van Erps, Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11349:
3D Printed Optics and Additive Photonic Manufacturing II
Alois M. Herkommer; Georg von Freymann; Manuel Flury, Editor(s)

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