Fabrication of a graded-index circular-core polymer parallel optical waveguide using a microdispenser for a high-density optical printed circuit board

Kazutomo Soma, Takaaki Ishigure

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90 Citations (Scopus)


A simple fabrication method for multimode polymer optical waveguides with graded-index (GI) circular cores is introduced for use in optical printed circuit boards (O-PCBs). The new method, named 'Mosquito method,' utilizes a microdispenser to dispense a viscous monomer directly onto the substrates. By optimizing the dispensing conditions, 12-channel parallel waveguides with circular GI-cores (core diameter of 40 μm) are successfully fabricated using the Mosquito method. The advantages of GI-core waveguides for O-PCB applications are discussed by comparing the optical characteristics of the fabricated waveguides with those of conventional step-index (SI) square-core polymer waveguides, and even with those of silica-based GI multimode fibers (MMFs), as an ideal case. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first comparison of SI- and GI-core multimode polymer waveguides that are composed of the same polymer materials and that have similar core and pitch sizes. We experimentally demonstrate that the GI circular-core polymer waveguides fabricated by the Mosquito method have sufficiently low propagation loss (0.033 dB/cm at 850 nm), low connection loss with GI-MMFs, and low interchannel crosstalk. We observe approximately -50 dB of interchannel crosstalk in the 250-μm pitch GI-core waveguide fabricated, which is almost 10 dB lower than in the SI counterpart. Furthermore, sufficiently low crosstalk is maintained in a half-pitch GI-core waveguide fabricated by the Mosquito method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6355601
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr 15



  • Graded-index (GI) core
  • on-board interconnection
  • optical printed circuit board (O-PCB)
  • polymer optical waveguide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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