In this paper we introduce a fabrication process for polymer rib waveguides that uses UV-imprint lithography. In the structure of an inverted-rib waveguide, the lower cladding of the waveguide is patterned by UV-imprinting and the waveguiding layer is subsequently spin-coated. That makes the thickness of the formed slab layer on the rib waveguide controllable by tuning the spin-coating parameters. The fabrication process utilizes two steps of UV-imprinting. The first one is to form a rigid polymer mold from positive tone photoresist. The second one is to pattern the waveguide lower cladding with the formed polymer mold. Through the two steps of UV-imprinting, rib waveguides can be fabricated without an etching procedure. We demonstrated the proposed fabrication process by fabricating 2-μm-wide waveguides operating in single mode at 1310 nm. With TE-polarized light, the fabricated waveguides show an average transmission of 58.6% in a 30 mm long waveguide, corresponding to a loss of 2.3 dB.
- Polymer waveguides
- inverted-rib waveguides