SmartPrint Single-Mode Flexible Polymer Optical Interconnect for High Density Integrated Photonics

Feb. 9, 2022

Abstract: This paper reports on the demonstration of a single-mode flexible polymer optical interconnect for efficiently and conveniently connecting integrated photonics chips to one another (chip-to-chip) and to optical printed circuit boards (chip-to-board). The interconnect uses a low-loss partially fluorinated refractive index contrast (RIC) polymer, referred to as poly(F-SBOC), that provides for direct patterning of the desired refractive index profiles into a slab waveguide consisting of poly(F-SBOC) and a flexible fluoropolymer film (Tefzel). Using a maskless lithography system, interconnects consisting of s-bends and tapers can be printed in situ into the poly(F-SBOC) material with no need for mechanical alignment. We demonstrate the efficacy of this approach by connecting two separate ion-exchange (IOX) glass waveguide chips, achieving fiber-to-fiber total insertion losses below 6dB in some cases, through the use of grayscale tapers that are written directly into the poly(F-SBOC) material.