Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Christopher Middlebrook


Single mode and multi-mode polymer optical waveguides are a viable solution for replacing copper interconnects as high speed and large bandwidth short-haul optical interconnects in next-generation supercomputers and data servers. A precision laser direct writing method is implemented for producing various single mode and multi-mode polymer waveguide structures and their performance is evaluated experimentally showing agreement with theoretically developed models. The laser direct writing method is the optimal solution for low-rate cost-effective prototyping and large area panel production.

A single mode polymer waveguide bridge module for silicon to glass optical fibers is designed, modeled, fabricated, and measured. The bridge module is designed for waveguide pitch control and low coupling loss from high-density silicon photonic interconnects within CMOS devices and optical silica fibers for long-haul low-loss transmission. A fan-out structure using waveguide S-bend structures is utilized to perform pitch control. Optical coupling within the bridge module is achieved through a novel polymer taper structure to reduce the numerical aperture mismatch between silicon waveguides and silica fibers. Research and development has been implemented into the theoretical understanding and experimental assessments of solving practical interconnect challenges for commercial realization of polymer waveguides.