Optical Switch Manufactured using Direct Write Method

Period of Performance: 01/01/2002 - 12/31/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Microfab Technologies, Inc.
104 Sumit Avenue
Plano, TX 75074
Principal Investigator


This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop enabling technology for construction of a small, low cost fiber optic switch. The switch will be based upon vertical cavity surface emitting laser arrays and PIN photodiode arrays, both coupled directly to a silicon switching/interfacing integrated circuit. The switch design and fabrication processes will be enabled by new interconnect technologies using direct-write of both organic materials and liquid metals using ink jet printing technology. Collimating or focusing polymer microlenses will be printed directly onto the vertical cavity surface emitting laser arrays with photolithographic accuracy, coupling the output of the vertical cavity surface emitting lasers directly into arrays of multimode optical fibers. The same will be true for coupling into detector arrays. Solder-Jet technology will be used to electrically interconnect the active optical elements to the silicon integrated circuit with practically zero interconnect distance, drastically decreasing parasitic effects