Acrylate-based optical waveguides have been fabricated with optical loss of 0.5 dB/cm at 1300 nm by means of a new material system that ensures stable optical and mechanical properties over a wide temperature range. No increase in loss was measured after 500 h at temperatures up to 150 °C, and there was no significant increase in loss during short (<5 min) temperature excursions to 300 °C for bonding. Single-mode waveguides were fabricated with refractive indices for core and clad of 1.505 and 1.500, respectively, so that the mode field is very similar to that of single-mode silica fiber. Guides were fabricated on both planar and structured substrates of Si and GaAs as well as on substrates coated with metals and dielectrics. Fabrication involved spin coating and UV exposure to cross-link the polymer, but the substrate temperature did not exceed 180 °C. With this method guides could be fabricated on a range of substrates up to 125 cm in diameter, including those with multilayer metallization for multichip modules, providing optical interconnect capability. Microprism reflecting surfaces were fabricated in the waveguides to couple light out normal to the substrate. All the processing was compatible with normal semiconductor fabrication.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 21, 1996
Revised Manuscript: November 22, 1996
Published: March 1, 1998
J. P. D. Cook, G. O. Este, F. R. Shepherd, W. D. Westwood, J. Arrington, W. Moyer, J. Nurse, and S. Powell, "Stable, low-loss optical waveguides and micromirrors fabricated in acrylate polymers," Appl. Opt. 37, 1220-1226 (1998)