Newer polymers make it easier to make optical connections

Newer polymers make it easier to make Optical connections |  Latest News

The researchers use what they call a SmartPrint process to develop new polymer materials. Found: Robert Norwood, University of Arizona

Researchers have developed new polymer materials that are suitable for creating optical links that are necessary to connect the photonic components formed on the chip with flat circuits or optical fibers. Polymers can be used to easily create connections between photovoltaic cartridges and printed circuit boards, which is similar to the light weight of printed circuit boards.

“These innovations and processes could lead to powerful new photonic modules related to silicon imaging,” said research group leader Robert Norwood from the University of Arizona. “They can be used for optical vision or to create holographic displays for augmented reality and virtual reality applications.

Silicon imaging technology allows lightweight particles to be assembled into a small box. Although many of the basic building blocks of silicon photonic technologies have been shown, more efficient ways to create optical connections are needed to connect these components to form complex systems.

In the journal Express Optical Materials, The researchers are introducing new polymer materials that exhibit a flexible refractive signal with ultraviolet (UV) light and low optical losses. These provide a single mode optical interconnect that can be printed directly into a dry film using a low -cost, high throughput lithography system that is compatible with the CMOS processing technologies used to produce the product. photonic particles depending on the chip.

“This technology is good at making optical interconnects, which can be used to make the Internet – the better the data centers run – the better,” Norwood said. “Compared to their electronic devices, optical converters can increase data throughput while reducing heat.

Replace wires with ease

The research builds on a vinylthiophenol polymer material system called S-BOC that was first developed by the researchers. This has a refractive direction that can be adjusted with the use of UV light. In the new work, the researchers modified the S-BOC to improve its light performance. The newer system, called FS-BOC, features lower optical transmission losses than most optical connectors.

“With this we can use a process that we call SmartPrint to accurately record optical interactions between different components of an optical printed circuit board, such as ion-exchange glass wave guides. (IOX) provided by our partner Lars Brusberg of Corning Incorporated, “said Norwood.

To perform the SmartPrint process, an FS-BOC film is directly attached to a photonic device. Mechanical correction is not necessary because the optical connector is made using a maskless lithography system that calculates where the interconnect needs to be by looking at the segments and then recording the optical interconnect in it. of the polymer using photoexposure. No other procedure is necessary than heating the polymer film to 90 ° C. Because the process is not maskless, the textures can be changed without the need for a new photomask.

Creating a relationship

To demonstrate the findings, the researchers placed them directly on ion-exchange glass conductors, which are often used for composite photonic applications. Then, they press the coupling features that are necessary to allow the light to pass out of one IOX waveguide, propagate into the new polymer interconnect, and then enter a second IOX waveguide that is connected. to the first IOX wave guide.

According to the researchers, the polymer optical interconnects performed well and showed low noise and diffusion losses, meaning that very little light was lost as it traveled through the interconnect and between perhaps and so on.

Researchers are working to improve the variability of the refractive index and performance at high temperatures. “A high refractive model is more efficient when working in a variety of conditions when a high temperature is required for the interconnect to withstand the reflow solder processes, standing above 200 °. C, “said Norwood.

It can lead to new optical technologies

More information:
Julie I. Frish et al, Rapid imaging of high -throughput optical polymers using refractive index polymers. Express Optical Materials (2022). DOI: 10.1364 / OME.454195

Directions: Manufacturing of new polymers (2022, April 13) on 13 April 2022 from

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