Laser direct writing of complex radially varying single-mode polymer waveguide structures

Document Type


Publication Date



© 2015 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Increasing board-to-board and chip-to-chip computational data rates beyond 12.5 Gbs will require the use of single-mode polymer waveguides (WGs) that have high bandwidths and are able to be wavelength division multiplexed. Laser direct writing (LDW) of polymer WGs provides a scalable and reconfigurable maskless procedure compared to common photolithography fabrication. LDW of straights and radial curves are readily achieved using predefined drive commands of the two-axis direct drive linear stage system. Using the laser direct write process for advanced WG structures requires stage-drive programming techniques that account for specified polymer material exposure durations. Creating advanced structures such as WG S-bends into single-mode polymer WG builds provides designers with the ability to affect pitch control, optical coupling, and reduce footprint requirements. Fabrication of single-mode polymer WG segmented radial arcs is achieved through a smooth radial arc user-programmed defined mathematical algorithm. Cosine and raised-sine S-bends are realized through a segmentation method where the optimal incremental step length and bend dimensions are controlled to achieve minimal structure loss. Laser direct written S-bends are compared with previously published photolithographic S-bend results using theoretical bend loss models. Fabrication results show that LDW is a viable method in the fabrication of advanced polymer WG structures.

Publication Title

Journal of Micro/ Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS