Ultra-thin chip-packaging technology for on-board single mode optical interconnects

# students: 1 or 2
# master thesis’s: 1

Promotor 1: Erwin Bosman
Promotor 2: Dries Van Thourhout                             

Supervisor 1: Bram Van Hoe
Supervisor 2: Jeroen Missinne

Contact person: Erwin Bosman

Erasmus Mundus Master of Science in Photonics, European Master of Science in Photonics, Master in de Ingenieurswetenschappen: Fotonica, Master in de Ingenieurswetenschappen: Elektrotechniek, Master in de Ingenieurswetenschappen: Toegepaste Natuurkunde

Keywords: printed circuit board, packaging, polymer optical waveguide, photonic integrated circuit

Problem statement:

The very high aggregate bandwidth demands for storage area networks, large-scale server warehouses, traffic routers, and high-performance computers have opened up opportunities for optics to compete with electrical interconnects at shorter and shorter distances. Optical waveguides embedded in the backplane and/or on the printed circuit board (PCB) have the potential to offer a cost-effective and scalable solution eliminating handling issues when using many individual optical fibers. The board-level waveguide technology investigated so far is dedicated to multimode polymer optical waveguides operating at a wavelength of 850 nm.

In this Master thesis, we aim to extend this board-level interconnect technology towards single mode polymer optical waveguides, operating at telecom wavelengths (1310 and 1550 nm), enabling compatibility with silicon photonics integrated circuits and therefore scaling to much larger interconnect bandwidths. The student will focus on the application of a novel chip packaging technology to allow for an efficient integration between long wavelength VCSEL, silicon photonics modulator, and on-board single mode polymer optical waveguide, leading to a state of the art demonstrator at the end.

Thesis Goal:

The overall aim of this thesis is to develop a novel packaging technology for integrating VCSELs, silicon photonics, and on-board single-mode optical waveguides.

Image1: Schematic view of a silicon photonicsintegrated circuit, with surface gratings allowing for optical fiber coupling(Photonics Research Group)

Image2: SEM image of single mode polymer waveguides,fabricated by laser direct imaging (CMST)

The student will start from a single mode waveguide fabrication process and VCSEL laser sources available at CMST (ELIS department) and available PICs at the Photonics Research Group (INTEC department).

The student will develop a package for the VCSELs and later for the PICs, based on the polymer embedding of the chips, which enables the chips to be in close contact with the waveguides and in optimal optical coupling conditions. This close contact eliminates the need for free space optics like lenses to focus the light back into the waveguide. The mounting of these packages on top of the waveguides and the optical coupling efficiency will be assessed.

Also the coupling of the VCSELs with the PICs can be investigated using the same packaging and coupling technique.

The thesis work primarily comprises of the following tasks:

1)      Simulation of coupling efficiencies and alignment tolerances for the proposed packaging and coupling scheme.

2)      Realization and optimalization of the dedicated PIC and VCSEL package.

3)      Investigation of the assembly of the package on top of embedded single mode waveguides.

4)      Assessment of the alignment tolerances and optical coupling efficiencies of PIC-to-waveguide, VCSEL-to-waveguide and VCSEL-to-PIC.


Location: Ardoyen (clean rooms) and home

Erwin Bosman,
Mar 13, 2014, 4:17 AM
Erwin Bosman,
Mar 13, 2014, 4:18 AM