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Low-Cost, Precision, Self-Alignment Technique for Coupling Laser and Photodiode Arrays to Polymer Waveguide Arrays on Multilayer PCBs

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4 Author(s)
Papakonstantinou, I. ; Dept. of Electron. & Electr. Eng., Univ. Coll. London, London ; Selviah, D.R. ; Pitwon, R.C.A. ; Milward, D.

The first, to our knowledge, passive, precision, self-alignment technique for direct coupling of vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) and photodiode (PD) arrays to an array of polymer buried channel waveguides on a rigid printed circuit board (PCB) is reported. It gives insertion losses as good as the best achieved previously, to within experimental measurement accuracy, but without the need for costly active alignment nor waveguide facet polishing and so is a major step towards a commercially realizable low cost connector. Such an optical connector with four duplex channels each operating at 10 Gb/s (80 Gb/s aggregate) was designed, constructed, and its alignment precision assessed. The alignment technique is applicable to polymer waveguide interconnections on both rigid and flexible multilayer printed circuit boards (PCBs). The dependence of optical coupling loss on misalignments in , and of the VCSEL and PD arrays allows the precision of alignment to be assessed and its reproducibility on multiple mating cycles of the connector is reported. The first recorded measurements of crosstalk between waveguides when the connector is misaligned are reported. Lateral misalignments of the connector to within its tolerance are shown to have no effect on the signal to crosstalk ratio (SCR), to within experimental measurement accuracy. The insertion loss repeatability is similar to that of single mode fiber mechanically transferable (MT) connectors.

Published in:

Advanced Packaging, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 3 )