Three-dimensional patterning in polymer optical waveguides using focused ion beam milling

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© 2016 The Authors. Waveguide (WG) photonic-bridge taper modules are designed for symmetric planar coupling between silicon WGs and single-mode fibers (SMFs) to minimize photonic chip and packaging footprint requirements with improving broadband functionality. Micromachined fabrication and evaluation of polymer WG tapers utilizing high-resolution focused ion beam (FIB) milling is performed and presented. Polymer etch rates utilizing the FIB and optimal methods for milling polymer tapers are identified for three-dimensional patterning. Polymer WG tapers with low sidewall roughness are manufactured utilizing FIB milling and optically tested for fabrication loss. FIB platforms utilize a focused beam of ions (Ga+) to etch submicron patterns into substrates. Fabricating low-loss polymer WG taper prototypes with the FIB before moving on to mass-production techniques provides theoretical understanding of the polymer taper and its feasibility for connectorization devices between silicon WGs and SMFs.

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Journal of Micro/ Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS