Integration of optical interconnections on a printed circuit board (PCB) is very challenging, since compatibility should be maintained with standard PCB manufacturing technology. This paper describes the use of laser ablation, a technique already used in PCB manufacturing for drilling microvias, as a suitable technique for the fabrication of multimode polymer waveguides, micromirrors, alignment features, and microlenses. A frequency-tripled Nd-YAG laser and a KrF excimer laser are used, both mounted on the same stage, resulting in very high alignment accuracies. This paper demonstrates a parallel optical link over approximately 5-cm-long PCB integrated waveguides, fully connected using a standard MT-based connector. This proves that laser ablation can be a key technology in optical board manufacturing to reach the stringent coupling tolerances.
© 2004 IEEE
Geert Van Steenberge, Peter Geerinck, Steven Van Put, Jan Van Koetsem, Heidi Ottevaere, Danny Morlion, Hugo Thienpont, and Peter Van Daele, "MT-Compatible Laser-Ablated Interconnections for Optical Printed Circuit Boards," J. Lightwave Technol. 22, 2083- (2004)