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The fabrication of two dimensional precision optical fiber holder with deep lithographic method

Photonics technology involving parallel processing architecture is becoming extremely important for large-scale information transfer in tele- and datacommunication systems. The obvious reasons are high bandwidth of optical media, the lack of light beam interference and the possibility of high density interconnections. Free space optical interconnection offers the potential for large number of interconnections. Such free space interconnect schemes are being considered for VLSI and photonic switching environment. These systems require fiber arrays for bringing in and taking out optical signals from the computing or switching environment. The location of light beams emerging from fiber arrays depends on the location of the fiber in the fiber holder. The fibers in such arrays have to be spaced precisely to match the location of active device arrays. The variation in pitch of the fibers can range from less than 1 um for single-mode fibers to several microns for multimode fibers. Along with the location, it is also important that all beams emerging from the fibers propagate in the same direction collinearly to the optic axis of the system. Such requirements translate into the fabrication of precision mechanical elements to support and hold the fibers at precise locations. Optical fiber bundle arrays are simple to conceptualize, but their fabrication has proven to be difficult when high-precision positioning is required. Several fabrication techniques have been reported in the literature. Most of these assembly techniques are not accurate enough to perform the necessities for the positioning of optical fibers. The combination of micro-lens arrays with fiber arrays is very important to have a maximum coupling efficiency. The passive alignment of micro-lenses to the fiber array is another critical design parameter. The investigation and the fabrication of a precise 2 dimensional plastic fiber holder for multimode and single-mode fibers with the optimized deep-lithography with ions forms the main goal of this project. This fabrication technique allows us to apply the LIGA technology to replicate high aspect ratio microstructures.

Project duration

01/1999 - 12/2002

Key Researchers

Christof Debaes Christof Debaes
+32 2 629 10 18

Jurgen Van Erps Jurgen Van Erps
+32 497 80 07 94

Related Research areas

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Hugo Thienpont
Prof. Dr. Ir.
Hugo Thienpont
Managing Director
Nadia Cornand

Nadia Cornand
+32 2 791 68 52

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