Fabrication and characterization of polymer optical waveguides with integrated micromirrors for three-dimensional board-level optical interconnects

M. Immonen, Mikko Karppinen, J. Kivilahti

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    64 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper describes the fabrication and characterization of optical/electrical printed circuit boards (O/E-PCB) with embedded multimodal step index (MM-SI) waveguides and integrated out-of-plane micromirrors (IMMs) for three-dimensional (3-D) optical interconnects. Optical circuitry is built up on PCBs using UV lithography; 45º input/output (I/O) couplers are fabricated by inclined exposure. Commercial polymers are used as optical core and cladding materials. Critical mirror properties of angle, surface quality, reflectivity, and coupling efficiency are characterized experimentally and theoretically. Optical and scanning electron microscopy, white light interferometry, and fiber scanning method are used in the investigations. Sloping profiles measured as a function of the incident light showed the attainment of mirror angles of α = 36º-45º with ±2º consistency. Near-field optical imaging with a white light source showed that out-of-plane beam turning was achieved. Topography investigations revealed a rectilinear negative tapering shape regardless of the incoming beam angle or type of substrate. However, higher substrate reflectancy was observed to lower the mirror angle. The average propagation loss measured for 10-cm-long waveguides at λ = 850 nm by the cut-back method was 0.60 dB/cm; the excess loss calculated for the mirror coupling was 1.8-2.3 dB. The results showed that the IMMs can be incorporated in O/E-PCBs to couple light in and out of planar waveguides. Furthermore, the presented results indicate that optical waveguides with integrated micromirrors for optical 3-D wiring can be produced compatible with volume manufacturing techniques.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)304 - 311
    Number of pages8
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Electronics Packaging Manufacturing
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • board-level optics
    • optics
    • micromirrors
    • optical printed circuit boards
    • printed circuit boards
    • printed circuits
    • o-PCBs
    • polymer optical waveguides
    • three-dimensional interconnects


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