Jürgen Van Erps was born in Etterbeek, Belgium, in 1980. He graduated as an Electrotechnical Engineer with majors in Photonics at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in 2003 and obtained his PhD summa cum laude at the same university in 2008. His research includes polymer microfabrication, optical design and characterization of micro-photonic systems, photonics-enhanced lab-on-a-chip devices, optical interconnects and nonlinear optics in photonic integrated circuits.
Skills and Expertise
Oct 2009 - Sep 2012
Research Items (163)
Graphene is considered a record-performance nonlinear-optical material on the basis of numerous experiments. The observed strong nonlinear response ascribed to the refractive part of graphene's electronic third-order susceptibility χ(3) cannot, however, be explained using the relatively modest χ(3) value theoretically predicted for the 2D material. Here we solve this long-standing paradox and demonstrate that, rather than χ(3)-based refraction, a complex phenomenon which we call saturable photoexcited-carrier refraction is at the heart of nonlinear-optical interactions in graphene such as self-phase modulation. Saturable photoexcited-carrier refraction is found to enable self-phase modulation of picosecond optical pulses with exponential-like bandwidth growth along graphene-covered waveguides. Our theory allows explanation of these extraordinary experimental results both qualitatively and quantitatively. It also supports the graphene nonlinearities measured in previous self-phase modulation and self-(de)focusing (Z-scan) experiments. This work signifies a paradigm shift in the understanding of 2D-material nonlinearities and finally enables their full exploitation in next-generation nonlinear-optical devices.
- Nov 2018
Small misalignments between two standard telecom single-mode fibers in a physical contact connection can lead to large optical losses. It is known that by expanding the mode field diameter of the fiber, the misalignment tolerances can be relaxed. One of the approaches to obtain this beam expansion is to use tapers. We propose an air-clad taper structure to transmit the fundamental mode of a single-mode fiber adiabatically to a 3 times larger mode field area in physical contact expanded beam connectors. This results in a 241.4 um long linear taper. The taper itself is fabricated on top of a cleaved fiber facet by means of the two-photon polymerization direct laser writing technique. Experimental results for lateral misalignment show excellent agreement with simulated values and give an increase in lateral misalignment tolerance of 1 um (−1 dB) and 1.8 um (−3 dB). Total insertion losses down to 0.76 dB are measured, showing the trade-off between achievable insertion loss and misalignment tolerance relaxation. Finally, we show that the use of additive manufacturing techniques in fiber beam expansion applications make it possible to fabricate taper structures with full 3D design freedom and to upscale the process to multi-fiber components.
Applying graphene in optical and photonic applications is anticipated to be a promising strategy to attain new technological functionalities. To maximize the exploitation of graphene’s extraordinary optical properties, precise control over its Fermi level will be of vital importance. Therefore, chemical doping is a viable approach to manipulate graphene’s properties. In this work, we show the usage of a versatile p-doping strategy based on the incorporation of bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)amide (TFSA), functioning as active p-dopant molecule, into a poly(2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5-octafluoropentyl methacrylate) (POFPMA) polymer matrix. The TFSA/POFPMA dopant can be utilized both onto large size graphene regions via spin coating and on small predefined spatial zones in micro meter dimension, by localized inkjet printing. Whereas pure TFSA suffers from a clustered layer deposition combined with environmental instability, the application of the POFPMA polymer matrix yields doping layers revealing superior properties counteracting the existing shortcomings of pure TFSA. A first key finding relates to the optical quality of the dopant layer. We obtain a layer with an extremely low surface roughness (0.4-0.8 nm/25 µm^2) while exhibiting very high transparency (absorbance < 0.05%) over the 500-1900 nm wavelength range, without inducing additional scattering. Moreover, the doping stability as a function of time is strongly enhanced by the use of the POFPMA matrix up to several weeks (for inkjet-printed deposition) and months (for spin coated deposition). Finally, the doping efficiency is very high, reaching a carrier density around +4 x 10^13 cm^-2 whereas the optical transmission of a graphene-covered Si waveguide revealed a strong improvement (4.22 dB per 100 µm graphene length) after deposition of the dopant via inkjet printing.
- Jun 2018
In the present work, gelatin type B is modified with highly reactive norbornene functionalities (Gel‐NB) following a one‐pot synthesis approach to enable subsequent thiol–ene photo‐click crosslinking. The modification strategy displays close control over the amount of introduced functionalities. Additionally, Gel‐NB exhibits considerably improved processing capabilities in terms of two‐photon polymerization when benchmarked to earlier‐reported crosslinkable gelatin derivatives (e.g., gelatin‐methacrylamide (Gel‐MOD) and gelatin‐methacrylamide‐aminoethylmethacrylate (Gel‐MOD‐AEMA)). The improvement is especially apparent in terms of minimally required laser power (20 mW vs ≥60 mW (Gel‐MOD) vs ≥40 mW (Gel‐MOD‐AEMA) at 100 mm s⁻¹ scan speed) and processable concentration range (≥5 w/v% vs ≥10 w/v% (Gel‐MOD/Gel‐MOD‐AEMA)). Furthermore, the proposed functionalization scheme maintains the excellent biocompatibility and cell interactivity of gelatin. Additionally, the norbornene functionalities have potential for straightforward postprocessing “thiol–ene” surface grafting of active molecules. As a consequence, a very promising material toward tissue engineering applications and more specifically, biofabrication, is presented.
- Feb 2018
We report on the design, fabrication, and characterization of a 1550 nm/1950 nm directional coupler based on single-crystal diamond waveguides. The input and output ports of the waveguides are connected with 1550 nm and 1950 nm grating couplers to allow out-of-plane light coupling. The devices are fabricated using electron-beam lithography and reactive ion etching technologies. We obtain a good performance for both the grating couplers (efficiency of -10.9 dB at 1550 nm and -11.6 dB at 1950 nm) and waveguide (attenuation of 2.3 dB/mm at 1550 nm and 4.5 dB/mm at 1950 nm). Furthermore, the actual directional coupler component is found to be quasi-lossless. By means of directional coupler calibration devices, we measure high extinction ratios between the "cross" and "through" ports (22 dB at 1565 nm and 21 dB at 1949 nm), hence showing a high-efficiency wave-combining functionality. Taking into account that integrated directional couplers are essential for allowing light routing between different on-chip devices, our results pave the way for larger-scale and more complex photonic integrated circuits in single-crystal diamond thin films.
- Jan 2018
- Integrated Photonics Research, Silicon and Nanophotonics
Single-crystal diamond (SCD) is a promising material for integrated photonics, yet technologically challenging. We show how to overcome these challenges and demonstrate long waveguides, efficient gratings and wideband directional couplers in SCD.
- Jan 2018
- Bragg Gratings, Photosensitivity and Poling in Glass Waveguides and Materials
We solve the long-standing discrepancy between the theoretically predicted and experimentally observed performance of nonlinear-optical refraction in graphene. Hereto we study self-phase modulation in silica-core waveguides covered with graphene.
The present work reports on the development of photo-crosslinkable gelatins sufficiently versatile to overcome current biopolymer two-photon polymerization (2PP) processing limitations. To this end, both the primary amines as well as the carboxylic acids of gelatin type B were functionalized with photo-crosslinkable moieties (up to 1 mmol/g) resulting in superior and tunable mechanical properties (G' from 5000 Pa up to 147 000 Pa) enabling efficient 2PP processing. The materials were characterized in depth prior to and after photo-induced crosslinking using fully functionalized gelatin-methacrylamide (gel-MOD) as a benchmark to assess the effect of functionalization on the protein properties, the crosslinking efficiency and the mechanical properties. In addition, preliminary experiments on hydrogel films indicated excellent in vitro biocompatibility (close to 100% viability) both in the presence of MC3T3 pre-osteoblasts and L929 fibroblasts. Moreover, 2PP processing of the novel derivative was superior in terms of applied laser power (≥ 40 mW vs ≥ 60 mW for gel-MOD at 100 mm/s) as well as post production swelling (0-20 % vs 75 - 100% for gel-MOD) compared to gel-MOD. The reported novel gelatin derivative (gel-MOD-AEMA) proves to be extremely suitable for direct laser writing as both superior mimicry of the applied computer aided design (CAD) was obtained while maintaining the desired cellular interactivity of the biopolymer. It can be anticipated that the present work will also be applicable to alternative biopolymers mimicking the extracellular environment such as collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans, thereby expanding current material-related processing limitations in the tissue engineering field.
We present our technology supply chain for freeform polymer optics. We show through recent examples how this technology supply chain is a key-enabler for frontier applied research and demonstrate how it paves the way towards efficient technology take-up and effective industrial innovation.
- Dec 2016
Deep proton writing (DPW) is a fabrication technology developed for the rapid prototyping of polymer micro-structures. We use SU-8, a negative resist, spincoated in a layer up to 720 μm-thick in a single step on borosilicate glass, for irradiation with a collimated 12 MeV energy proton beam. Micro-pillars with a slightly conical profile are irradiated in the SU-8 layer. We determine the optimal proton fluence to be 1.02 × 10⁴ μm⁻², with which we are able to repeatably achieve micro-pillars with a top-diameter of 138 ± 1 μm and a bottom-diameter of 151 ± 3 μm. The smallest fabricated pillars have a top-diameter of 57 ± 5 μm. We achieved a root-mean-square sidewall surface roughness between 19 nm and 35 nm for the fabricated micro-pillars, measured over an area of 5 × 63.7 μm. We briefly discuss initial testing of two potential applications of the fabricated micro-pillars. Using ∼100 μm-diameter pillars as waveguides for gigascale integration optical interconnect applications, has shown a 4.7 dB improvement in optical multimode fiber-to-fiber coupling as compared to the case where an air–gap is present between the fibers at the telecom wavelength of 1550 nm. The ∼140 μm-diameter pillars were used for mold fabrication with silicone casting. The resulting mold can be used for hydrogel casting, to obtain hydrogel replicas mimicking human tissue for in vitro bio-chemical applications.
- Oct 2016
We report on the design, fabrication, and characterization of millimeter-length strip waveguides with monolithic grating couplers in commercially available synthetic single-crystal diamond. To minimize the device footprint and the influence of the wafer wedge of the single-crystal diamond thin plate, we adopt a curled waveguide layout. The devices are fabricated using electron-beam lithography and reactive-ion etching. To improve the e-beam patterning accuracy of the grating etch masks, we apply proximity-effect compensation on the gratings and tapers. The linear characterization results indicate a waveguide attenuation of 6:5 dB=mm and a grating transmission of –6:3 dB in the fiber-optic communication C band. These results demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating long waveguides and integrated grating couplers in single-crystal diamond. Our research findings would be beneficial for further exploring quantum and nonlinear optics in integrated single-crystal diamond devices.
Deep proton writing (DPW) is a fabrication technology developed for the rapid prototyping of polymer microstructures. We use polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) substrates, which act as a positive resist, for irradiation with a collimated 12-MeV energy proton beam. Using 12 MeV enables the irradiation of increasingly thick PMMA substrates with less conicity of the sidewalls compared to the lower energies used in previous work. A microhole of 47.7 μm diameter over a depth of 1 mm is achieved, leading to a maximum aspect ratio of 21∶1. The sidewalls of the irradiated structures show a slightly conical shape and their root-mean-square surface roughness is lower than 50 nm averaged over 72 measured areas of 56 μm x 44 μm. This means that DPW components have optical surface quality sidewalls for wavelengths larger than 400 nm. Based on the trade-off among the sidewall roughness, conicity, and the development time, we determine that the optimal proton fluence for 12-MeV DPW in PMMA is 7.75 × 10^6 μm^(-2). Finally, we discuss some high aspect ratio microstructures with optical surface quality that were created with DPW to be used for a myriad of applications, such as micromirrors, microlenses, optofluidic devices, and high-precision alignment structures for single-mode optical fiber connectors.
We experimentally demonstrate a negative Kerr nonlinearity for quasiundoped graphene. Hereto, we introduce the method of chirped-pulse-pumped self-phase modulation and apply it to graphene-covered silicon waveguides at telecom wavelengths. The extracted Kerr-nonlinear index for graphene equals n2,gr=−10^(−13) m^2/W. Whereas the sign of n2,gr turns out to be negative in contrast to what has been assumed so far, its magnitude is in correspondence with that observed in earlier experiments. Graphene’s negative Kerr nonlinearity strongly impacts how graphene should be exploited for enhancing the nonlinear response of photonic (integrated) devices exhibiting a positive nonlinearity. It also opens up the possibility of using graphene to annihilate unwanted nonlinear effects in such devices, to develop unexplored approaches for establishing Kerr processes, and to extend the scope of the “periodic poling” method often used for second-order nonlinearities towards third-order Kerr processes. Because of the generic nature of the chirped-pulse-pumped self-phase modulation method, it will allow fully characterizing the Kerr nonlinearity of essentially any novel (2D) material.
This paper presents the hot-embossing replication of self-centering fiber alignment structures for high-precision, single-mode optical fiber connectors. To this end, a metal mold insert was fabricated by electroforming a polymer prototype patterned by means of deep proton writing (DPW). To achieve through-hole structures, we developed a postembossing process step to remove the residual layer inherently present in hot-embossed structures. The geometrical characteristics of the hot-embossed replicas are compared, before and after removal of the residual layer, with the DPW prototypes. Initial measurements on the optical performance of the replicas are performed. The successful replication of these components paves the way toward low-cost mass replication of DPW-fabricated prototypes in a variety of high-tech plastics. © 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).
- Jul 2016
- SPIE Photonics Europe
Raman spectroscopy is a powerful optical and non-destructive technique and a well-known method for analysis purposes, especially to determine the molecular fingerprint of substances. Traditionally, such analyses are done in a specialized lab, with considerable requirements in terms of equipment, time and manual sampling of substances of interest. In this paper we take a step from bulky Raman spectroscopy laboratory analyses towards lab-on-chip (LOC) analyses. We present an optofluidic lab-on-chip for confocal Raman spectroscopy, which can be used for the analysis of liquids. The confocal detection suppresses the unwanted background from the polymer material out of which the chip is fabricated. We design the free-form optical reflector using non-sequential ray-tracing combined with a mathematical code to simulate the Raman scattering behavior of the substance under test. We prototype the device in Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) by means of ultraprecision diamond tooling. In a proof-of-concept demonstration, we first show the confocal behavior of our Raman lab-on-chip system by measuring the Raman spectrum of ethanol. In a next step, we compare the Raman spectra measured in our lab-on-chip with spectra measured with a commercial Raman spectrometer. Finally, to calibrate the system we perform Raman measurements on urea solutions with different concentrations. We achieve a detection limit that corresponds to a noise equivalent concentration of 20mM. Apart from strongly reducing the background perturbations, our confocal Raman spectroscopy system has other advantages as well. The reflector design is robust from a mechanical point of view and has the potential for mass-manufacturing using hot embossing or injection molding.
In recent years the integration of graphene into silicon photonics has attracted much attention as it allows using well-established CMOS technology for constructing next-generation photonic integrated circuits. Because of graphene's extraordinary optical properties, the deposition of graphene on top of silicon photonic chips can further enhance the operation of silicon waveguide devices and even introduce novel on-chip functionalities. However, to optimally exploit these possibilities, important challenges need to be overcome regarding the fabrication and patterning of graphene-on-silicon devices. In addition, a more in-depth investigation of the fundamental optical properties of graphene-covered silicon waveguides will be required. In this work, we present a novel approach for local micron-scale-resolution patterning of graphene on top of silicon waveguides, and provide new insights in the nonlinear optical properties of the graphene-on-silicon material platform.
- Jun 2016
The European Commission's goal of providing each European household with at least a 30 Mb s-1 Internet connection by 2020 would be facilitated by a widespread deployment of fibre-to-the-home, which would in turn be sped up by the development of connector essential components, such as high-precision alignment features. Currently, the performance of state-of-the-art physical contact optical fiber connectors is limited by the tolerance on the cladding of standard telecom-grade single-mode fiber (SMF), which is typically smaller than ± 1 μm. We propose to overcome this limit by developing micro-spring-based self-centering alignment structures (SCAS) for SMF-connectors. We design these alignment structures with robustness and low-cost replication in mind, allowing for large-scale deployment. Both theoretical and finite element analysis (FEA) models are used to determine the optimal dimensions of the beams of which the micro-springs of the SCAS are comprised. Two topologies of the SCAS, consisting of three and four micro-springs respectively, are investigated for two materials: polysulfone (PSU) and polyetherimide (PEI). These materials hold great potential for high-performance fiber connectors while being compatible with low-cost production and with the harsh environmental operation conditions of those connectors. The theory and FEA agree well (<3% difference) for a simple micro-spring. When including a pedestal on the micro-spring (to bring it further away from the fiber) and for shorter spring lengths the agreement worsens. This is due to spring compression effects not being taken into account in our theoretical model. Prototypes are successfully fabricated using deep proton writing and subsequently characterized. The controlled insertion of an SMF in the SCAS is investigated and we determine that a force of 0.11 N is required. The fiber insertion also causes an out-of-plane deformation of the micro-springs in the SCAS of about 7 μm, which is no problem for robustness according to the FEA model. Finally connector-assemblies are made with the alignment system and we show that an insertion loss down to 0.1 dB is achievable. The prototypes are subsequently used as a sacrificial master for mould fabrication through electroplating with the goal of low-cost replication through hot embossing.
- May 2016
- SPIE Photonics Europe
We present the use of femtosecond laser ablation for the removal of monolayer graphene from silicon-on-insulator (SOI) waveguides, and the use of oxygen plasma etching through a metal mask to peel off graphene from the grating couplers attached to the waveguides. Through Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy, we show that the removal of graphene is successful with minimal damage to the underlying SOI waveguides. Finally, we employ both removal techniques to measure the contribution of graphene to the loss of grating-coupled graphene-covered SOI waveguides using the cut-back method. This loss contribution is measured to be 0.132 dB/μm.
We present a microfluidic chip in Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) for optical trapping of particles in an 80μm wide microchannel using two counterpropagating single-mode beams. The trapping fibers are separated from the sample fluid by 70μm thick polymer walls. We calculate the optical forces that act on particles flowing in the microchannel using wave optics in combination with non-sequential ray-tracing and further mathematical processing. We use a novel fabrication process that consists of a premilling step and ultraprecision diamond tooling for the manufacturing of the molds and double-sided hot embossing for replication, resulting in a robust microfluidic chip for optical trapping. In a proof-of-concept demonstration, we show the trapping capabilities of the hot embossed chip by trapping spherical beads with a diameter of 6μm, 8μm and 10μm and use the power spectrum analysis of the trapped particle displacements to characterize the trap strength.
With the demand for broadband connectivity on the rise due to various services like video-on-demand and cloud computing becoming more popular, the need for better connectivity infrastructure is high. The only future- proof option to supply this infrastructure is to deploy "fiber to the home" (FTTH) networks. One of the main difficulties with the deployment of FTTH is the vast amount of single-mode fiber (SMF) connections that need to be made. Hence there is a strong need for components which enable high performance, robust and easy-to- use SMF connectors. Since large-scale deployment is the goal, these components should be mass-producible at low cost. We discuss a rapid prototyping process on the basis of hot embossing replication of a self-centering alignment system (SCAS) based on three micro-springs, which can position a SMF independently of its diameter. This is beneficial since there is a fabrication tolerance of up to ±1 μm on a standard G.652 SMF's diameter that can lead to losses if the outer diameter is used as a reference for alignment. The SCAS is first prototyped with deep proton writing (DPW) in polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) after which it is glued to a copper substrate with an adhesive. Using an electroforming process, a nickel block is grown over the PMMA prototype followed by mechanical finishing to fabricate a structured nickel mould insert. Even though the mould insert shows non- ideal and rounded features it is used to create PMMA replicas of the SCAS by means of hot embossing. The SCAS possesses a central opening in which a bare SMF can be clamped, which is designed with a diameter of 121 μm. PMMA replicas are dimensionally characterized using a multisensor coordinate measurement machine and show a central opening diameter of 128.3 ± 2.8 μm. This should be compared to the central opening diameter of the DPW prototype used for mould formation which was measured to be 120.5 μm. This shows that the electroforming and subsequent replication process is possible for complex micro-scale components and could be accurate after optimisation. We characterized the sidewall roughness of PMMA replicas using a non- contact optical profiler, resulting in a root-mean-square roughness of 48 nm over an area of 63.7 μm×47.8 μm. This low sidewall roughness is especially important in the replication of high aspect ratio structures to facilitate demoulding since the sidewalls cause the most friction with the mould insert.
It is known that cleaving an optical fiber introduces a number of irregularities and defects to the fiber’s end-face, such as hackles and shockwaves. These defects can act as failure initiators when stress is applied to the end-face. Given the fiber’s small diameter of 125 ffm, a large amount of mechanical stress can be expected to be applied on its end-face during the mating-demating cycle. In addition, a connector in a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network can be expected to be mated and demated more than 30 times during its lifetime for purposes such as testing, churning, or provisioning. For this reason, the performance of a connector that displays low optical loss when first installed can dramatically degrade after few mating-demating cycles and catastrophic connector failure due to end-face breakage is likely. We present plasma discharge shaping of cleaved fiber tips to strongly improve the endurance of the fibers to repeated mating-demating cycles. We quantify the dependency of the plasma-induced surface curvature of the fiber tip on the plasma duration and on the position of the fiber tip within the plasma cloud. Finally we present data showing the improved endurance of fibers that are exposed to plasma compared to conventional as-cleaved fibers.
- Apr 2016
Over the past decades, solid freeform fabrication (SFF) has emerged as the main technology for the production of scaffolds for tissue engineering applications as a result of the architectural versatility. However, certain limitations have also arisen, primarily associated with the available, rather limited range of materials suitable for processing. To overcome these limitations, several research groups have been exploring novel methodologies through which a construct, generated via SFF, is applied as a sacrificial mould for production of the final construct. The technique combines the benefits of SFF techniques in terms of controlled, patient-specific design with a large freedom in material selection associated with conventional scaffold production techniques. Consequently, well-defined 3D scaffolds can be generated in a straightforward manner from previously difficult to print and even "unprintable" materials due to thermomechanical properties that do not match the often strict temperature and pressure requirements for direct rapid prototyping. These include several biomaterials, thermally degradable materials, ceramics and composites. Since it can be combined with conventional pore forming techniques, indirect rapid prototyping (iRP) enables the creation of a hierarchical porosity in the final scaffold with micropores inside the struts. Consequently, scaffolds and implants for applications in both soft and hard tissue regeneration have been reported. In this review, an overview of different iRP strategies and materials are presented from the first reports of the approach at the turn of the century until now.
We show a detection system that simultaneously allows absorbance (ABS), laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and scattering detection excited by two different laser sources at 405 nm and 450 nm. The heart of the system consists of a mass manufacturable polymer optofluidic chip. The chip is mounted in an optical detection assembly that aligns the chip to the rest of the system, seals the chip from leakage, fixes the position and connects the channels to the rest of the fluidic system. The fluidics exhibit a reduced susceptibility to perturbations caused by air bubbles, this is accomplished by making use of a serpentine channel layout. For coumarin 480, detection limits of 100 nM and 10 pM are observed for ABS and LIF respectively. An effective detection range of 4000 down to 1 nephelometric turbidity units is shown for the detection of scattered light. The viscous behaviour of the sample is analysed by a secondary FFT processing step of which the result is further processed by multivariate data analysis. This allows the identification of samples and prediction of their quality parameters. We apply this system for the monitoring of lubricant oil, demonstrating its ability to compete with spectroscopic detection techniques. The low-cost approach and multi-measurement architecture shown in this paper pave the way for miniaturized on-line monitoring of liquids in an industrial environment.
We present an optofluidic chip in polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) that combines optical trapping of single particles with confocal Raman spectroscopy. We introduce the design of the optofluidic chip and the ray-tracing simulations combined with mathematical calculations used to determine the optical forces exerted on the particles and to model the excitation and collection of Raman scattering. The optical trapping is done using a single-beam gradient trap realized by a high numerical aperture free-form reflector, monolithically embedded in the optofluidic chip. The focused beam functions both as the excitation beam as well as the trapping beam. The embedded free-form reflector is also used to collect the Raman scattered light generated from the trapped particle. We discuss the fabrication process for the prototyping of the chip, which consists of an ultraprecision diamond turning step and a sealing step. Finally, we demonstrate the functionality of the optofluidic chip in a proof-of-concept experimental setup and trap polystyrene beads with diameters from 6 to 15μm. We characterize the maximal transverse optical trap strength in the sample flow direction using the drag force method, measuring average efficiencies that lie between 0.11 and 0.36, and perform confocal Raman measurements of these particles.
- Dec 2015
In parallel with the development of nanoparticle coatings for protection of paper substrates, detailed descriptions of the surface topography with micro- to nanoscale roughness features are needed. In this work, papers have been coated with poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride) nanoparticles including different types of vegetable oils and the surface roughness was evaluated at 2000 × 2000 μm2 to 0.2 × 0.2 μm2 length scales by combining non-contact optical profilometry (NCP) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The relationships between roughness data were studied for statistical roughness parameters, spatial roughness parameters and in the frequency domain. In order to compare AFM roughness more accurately, the original images were flattened to remove effects of the underlaying fibrous substrate and highlight features of the nanoparticle coating. More detailed information on the coating topography could be obtained by considering bearing ratio curves and histograms, where it was concluded that the oil-filled coatings form a rather thin and continuous coating that closely follows the shape of the cellulose fibers. The relation between statistical roughness parameters from NCP and AFM follows an exponential trend with relatively low coefficient of determination. The increase in surface roughness with length scale showed a transition point attributed to short- and long-range surface features. Therefore, the correlation length was used as a spatial roughness parameter that provides a successful extrapolation of the average roughness over different length scales in a double logarithmic diagram with very high coefficient of determination. Based on the power spectral density, it was difficult to exactly distinguish between the different types of SMI/oil coatings, as they include similar nanoscale features. The frequency roughness parameters were better suited for extrapolation than statistical roughness parameters but little less efficient than the spatial roughness parameters.
We present a microfluidic chip in Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) for optical trapping of particles in an 80μm wide microchannel using two counterpropagating single-mode beams. The trapping fibers are separated from the sample fluid by 70μm thick polymer walls. We calculate the optical forces that act on particles flowing in the microchannel using wave optics in combination with non-sequential ray-tracing and further mathematical processing. Our results are compared with a theoretical model and the Mie theory. We use a novel fabrication process that consists of a premilling step and ultraprecision diamond tooling for the manufacturing of the molds and double-sided hot embossing for replication, resulting in a robust microfluidic chip for optical trapping. In a proof-of-concept demonstration, we show the trapping capabilities of the hot embossed chip by trapping spherical beads with a diameter of 6μm, 8μm and 10μm and use the power spectrum analysis of the trapped particle displacements to characterize the trap strength.
We present a new approach to remove monolayer graphene transferred on top of a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) photonic integrated chip. Femtosecond laser ablation is used for the first time to remove graphene from SOI waveguides, whereas oxygen plasma etching through a metal mask is employed to peel off graphene from the grating couplers attached to the waveguides. We show by means of Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy that the removal of graphene is successful with minimal damage to the underlying SOI waveguides. Finally, we employ both removal techniques to measure the contribution of graphene to the loss of grating-coupled graphene-covered SOI waveguides using the cut-back method.
The present work describes for the first time the production of self-supporting low gelatin density (<10 w/v%) porous scaffolds using methacrylamide-modified gelatin as an extracellular matrix mimicking component. As porous scaffolds starting from low gelatin concentrations cannot be realized with the conventional additive manufacturing techniques in the abscence of additives, we applied an indirect fused deposition modelling approach. To realize this, we have printed a sacrificial polyester scaffold which supported the hydrogel material during UV crosslinking, thereby preventing hydrogel structure collapse. After complete curing, the polyester scaffold was selectively dissolved leaving behind a porous, interconnective low density gelatin scaffold. Scaffold structural analysis indicated the success of the selected indirect additive manufacturing approach. Physico-chemical testing revealed scaffold properties (mechanical, degradation, swelling) to depend on the applied gelatin concentration and methacrylamide content. Preliminary biocompatibility studies revealed the cell-interactive and biocompatible properties of the materials developed.
- Oct 2015
- 2015 20th Microoptics Conference (MOC)
We present our polymer micro-optics technology supply chain and its key constituents. We show how it is a key-enabler for frontier applied research and demonstrate how it paves the way towards efficient technology take-up and effective industrial innovation.
- Sep 2015
- SPIE Optical Systems Design
We show a proof-of-concept demonstration of a multi-parameter analysis low-cost optical detection system for the flowcytometric identification of vinegars. This multi-parameter analysis system can simultaneously measure laser induced fluorescence, absorption and scattering excited by two time-multiplexed lasers of different wavelengths. To our knowledge no other polymer optofluidic chip based system offers more simultaneous measurements. The design of the optofluidic channels is aimed at countering the effects that viscous fingering, air bubbles, and emulsion samples can have on the correct operation of such a detection system. Unpredictable variations in viscosity and refractive index of the channel content can be turned into a source of information. The sample is excited by two laser diodes that are driven by custom made low-cost laser drivers. The optofluidic chip is built to be robust and easy to handle and is reproducible using hot embossing. We show a custom optomechanical holder for the optofluidic chip that ensures correct alignment and automatic connection to the external fluidic system. We show an experiment in which 92 samples of vinegar are measured. We are able to identify 9 different kinds of vinegar with an accuracy of 94%. Thus we show an alternative approach to the classic optical spectroscopy solution at a lowered. Furthermore, we have shown the possibility of predicting the viscosity and turbidity of vinegars with a goodness-of-fit R² over 0.947.
- Aug 2015
- SPIE Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering XVI
Conventional multichannel imaging systems comprise of many optical channels having similar imaging properties, namely field-of-view (FOV) and angular resolution/magnification. We demonstrated that the different optical channels can be designed such that each optical channel captures a different FOV and angular resolution compared to its neighboring channels. We designed and experimentally demonstrated a three-channel multiresolution imaging system where the first optical channel has the narrowest FOV (7°) and highest angular resolution (0.0096°) and the third optical channel has the widest FOV (80°) and lowest angular resolution (0.078°)1. The second optical channel has intermediate properties. The performance of the demonstrated three-channel imaging system however was affected by chromatic aberrations as it was designed for a single wavelength of 587.6 nm. The first optical channel was largely influenced by longitudinal chromatic aberration while the third channel by lateral chromatic aberration. Therefore, we have replaced the aspherical refractive lenses by hybrid lenses, which contain diffractive structures on top of their refractive surfaces, in the three-channel multiresolution imaging system to reduce its chromatic aberrations. The performance of the three channels with hybrid lenses is compared with those of the corresponding channels without hybrid lenses. The longitudinal color aberration of the first optical channel has been reduced from 1.7 mm to 0.2 mm; whereas the lateral color aberration of the third optical channel has been reduced from 250 μm to 14 μm. In conclusion, the hybrid lenses have reduced the chromatic aberrations of the three channels and extended the operating spectral range of the imaging system in the visible wavelength range.
The appearance or printing quality of paper surfaces is mostly characterized by their glossiness, measured with a glossmeter as specular reflectance. The gloss properties of a base paper substrate can be improved after application of a poly(styrene-co-maleimide) nanoparticle coating under pure conditions or in the presence of different vegetable oils. The specular gloss properties of 11 different nanoparticle paper coatings have been determined under 75° and 85° incident light angles, with good relation between values along parallel (machine) and perpendicular (transverse) direction. The gloss properties for the different coatings have been further related to the surface topography. Therefore, the statistical and spatial surface roughness parameters have been studied in detail at two length scales including non-contact profilometry (1 × 1 mm2) and atomic force microscopy (2 × 2 μm2). Based on values of the Rayleigh parameter for non-contact profilometry, the surfaces can be considered as optically rough. The gloss values cannot be directly related to statistical surface roughness parameters. Otherwise, an experimental power-law model for gloss has been proposed as a function of (β/Sq) with correlation length β and root-mean-square roughness Sq. A best-fit model illustrates that gloss properties of various nanoparticle paper coatings mainly relate to the spatial surface roughness parameters determined from non-contact profilometry. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Col Res Appl, 2015
- Jul 2015
We present an optofluidic lab-on-chip for confocal Raman spectroscopy, which can be used for the analysis of substances. The device strongly suppresses unwanted background signals because it enables confocal detection of Raman scattering thanks to a free-form reflector embedded in the optofluidic chip. We design the system using non-sequential ray-tracing combined with a mathematical code to simulate the Raman scattering behavior of the substance under test. We prototype the device in polymethyl methacrylateby means of ultraprecision diamond tooling. In a proof-of-concept demonstration, we first show the confocal behavior of our Raman lab-on-chip system by measuring the Raman spectrum of ethanol. In a next step, we compare Raman spectra measured in our lab-on-chip with spectra measured with a commercial Raman spectrometer. Finally, to calibrate the system we perform Raman measurements on urea solutions with different concentrations with our proposed experimental proof-of-concept setup. We achieved a detection limit that corresponds to the noise equivalent concentration of 20 mM.
For mass production of multiscale-optical components, microstructured moulding tools are needed. Metal tools are used for hot embossing or injection moulding of microcomponents made of a thermoplastic polymer. Microstructures with extremely tight specifications, e.g. low side wall roughness and high aspect ratios are generally made by lithographic procedures such as x-ray lithography or deep proton writing. However, these processes are unsuitable for low-cost mass production. An alternative manufacturing method of moulding tools has been developed at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). This article describes a mould insert fabrication and a new replication process for self-centring fibre alignment structures for low loss field installable single-mode fibre connectors, developed and fabricated by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in collaboration with TE Connectivity. These components are to be used in fibre-to-the-home networks and support the deployment and maintenance of fibre optic links. The special feature of this particular fibre connector is a self-centring fibre alignment, achieved by means of a through hole with deflectable cantilevers acting as micro-springs. The particular challenge is the electroforming of through holes with a centre hole diameter smaller than 125 µ m. The fibre connector structure is prototyped by deep proton writing in polymethylmethacrylate and used as a sacrificial part. Using joining, physical vapour deposition and electroforming technology, a negative copy of the prototyped connector is transferred into nickel to be used as a moulding tool. The benefits of this replication technique are a rapid and economical fabrication of moulding tools with high-precision microstructures and a long tool life. With these moulding tools low-cost mass production is possible. We present the manufacturing chain we have established. Each individual manufacturing step of the mould insert fabrication will be shown in this report. The process reliability and suitability for mass production was tested by hot embossing.
A Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) rectangular tapered probe with metal coating on the sides is analyzed as a near-field imaging probe at 100 GHz in Ansoft High Frequency Structure Simulator (HFSS). Normally, highly resistive silicon and sapphire, which are costly, are used as a near-field probe due to their low loss and high permittivity. PMMA near-field probe is usually used in Scanning Near-field Optical Microscopy (SNOM), which is made from PMMA optical fibers. We propose for the first time to use PMMA as a near-field probe in millimeter and Terahertz wave scanning near-field imaging applications. The geometrical optimization of the tapered probe is carried out on the basis of different coupling methods. The beam shape merging from the end of the tapered tip is analyzed. The operation efficiency of two-side tapered and four-side tapered probes has been compared in view of the fabrication technique. A knife edge is simulated in HFSS to define the lateral resolution. Longitudinal resolution is discussed through setting a stair step shaped sample. A high lateral resolution around the end of the probe size can be achieved and even higher longitudinal resolution. The impact of the tip-sample distance and the lateral resolution are clearly illustrated via simulations. Experiments are carried out using a two-side tapered probe provided with an aluminum coating. The resolution is defined by scanning a PMMA board which was half coated with aluminum.
We present numerical simulations of a monitoring technique for passive optical networks. The proposed technique is based on using an optical time domain reflectometer with fiber Bragg gratings which collaborate with the information provided by the Rayleigh backscattered power to distinguish between the different branches in the network. This will allow us to determine the position of any problem or losses in the network easily. We also include splitters in the simulated traces of passive optical networks. These simula-tions provide an important software tool for telecom companies to achieve low cost and efficient monitoring techniques in fiber to the home networks.
- Oct 2014
To boost the deployment of fiber-to-the-home networks in order to meet the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth, there is a strong need for single-mode fiber (SMF) connectors which combine low insertion loss with field installability. Shifting from ferrule-based to ferruleless connectors can reduce average insertion losses appreciably and minimize modal noise interference. We propose a ferruleless connector and adaptor in which physical contact between two inline fibers is ensured by at least one fiber being in a buckled state. To this end, we design a buckling cavity in which the SMF can buckle in a controlled way to ensure good optical performance as well as mechanical stability. This design is based on both mechanical and optical considerations. Finite element analysis suggests that mechanically a minimal buckling cavity length of 17 mm is required, while the height of the cavity should be chosen such that the buckled SMF is not mechanically confined to ensure buckling in a first-order mode. The optical bending loss in the buckled SMF is calculated using a fully vectorial mode solver, showing that a minimal buckling cavity length of 20 mm is necessary to keep the excess optical loss from bending below 0.1 dB. Both our optical and mechanical simulation results are experimentally verified.
- Aug 2014
- In proceedings of SPIE Optics+Photonics: Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering XV
Refocusing multi-channel imaging systems are nowadays commercially available only in bulky and expensive designs. Compact wafer-level multi-channel imaging systems have until now only been published without refocusing mechanisms, since classical refocusing concepts could not be integrated in a miniaturized configuration. This lack of refocusing capabilities limits the depth-of-field of these imaging designs and therefore their application in practical systems. We designed and characterized a wafer-level two-channel multi-resolution refocusing imaging system, based on an electrically tunable liquid lens and a design that can be realized with wafer-level mass-manufacturing techniques. One wide field-of-view channel (2x40°) gives a general image of the surroundings with a lower angular resolution (0.078°), whereas the high angular resolution channel (0.0098°) provides a detailed image of a small region of interest with a much narrower field-of-view (2x7.57°). The latter high resolution imaging channel contains the tunable lens and therefore the refocusing capability. The performances of this high resolution imaging channel were experimentally characterized in a proof-of-concept demonstrator. The experimental and simulated depth-of-field and resolving power correspond well. Moreover, we are able to obtain a depth-of-field from 0.25m until infinity, which is a significant improvement of the current state-of-the-art static multi-channel imaging systems, which show a depth-of-field from 9m until infinity. Both the high resolution and wide field-of-view imaging channels show a diffraction-limited image quality. The designed wafer-level two-channel imaging system can form the basis of an advanced three-dimensional stacked image sensor, where different image processing algorithms can be simultaneously applied to the different images on the image sensor.
- Jul 2014
We present a miniaturized polymer-based micro-optical detection unit for ultraviolet and visible laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and absorbance (ABS) analysis with an interaction length of 3 mm. We use non-sequential optical ray tracing simulations to model the system and to optimize its performance with respect to optical efficiency and system complexity. The design features a compact optical system combining total internal reflection (TIR) mirrors and refractive optics. The detection module is prototyped with deep proton writing in 2-mm-thick polymethylmethacrylate and quantitatively characterized using a three-dimensional coordinate measurement machine. We demonstrate the proof-of-concept of this TIR mirror-based module for coumarin 480 obtaining limits of detection of 50 pM and 500 nM for LIF and ABS, respectively. (C) 2014 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
- Jun 2014
- 30th European Mask and Lithography Conference
In this article we report the fabrication of large arrays of micro-optical gratings using soft embossing with elastic Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) molds and ultra-violet (UV) curable resins. Three different kinds of resins are used to replicate the master gratings in a process akin to a roll to roll process. The optical surface profiling measurements show that the dimensions of the replicated gratings closely approximate those of the master gratings. Optical diffractions of these gratings are also measured and analyzed.
Multichannel imaging systems currently feature refocusing capabilities only in bulky and expensive designs. Mechanical movements of the components cannot be integrated in miniaturized designs, preventing classical refocusing mechanisms. To overcome this limitation we developed, as a proof-of-concept (POC) demonstration, a compact low-cost two-channel refocusing imaging system based on a voltage-tunable liquid lens. In addition, the design can be realized with wafer-level manufacturing techniques. One channel of the imaging system enables a wide field of view (FOV) of a scene (2×40°) but with a limited angular resolution (0.078°), while the other channel gives a high angular resolution (0.0098°) image of a small region of interest but with a much narrower FOV (2×7.57°). It is this high-resolution channel that contains the tunable lens and therefore the refocusing capability. A POC demonstration of the proposed two-channel system was built and its performances were measured. Both imaging channels show good overall diffraction-limited image quality.
We present a comprehensive mathematical formalism, together with its numerical implementation, for optical timedomain reflectometry (OTDR) simulations with the ability to produce OTDR traces of passive optical point-to-multipoint networks (PONs). According to our knowledge, the proposed OTDR simulator is the first one with this feature, thus progressing beyond the existing state of the art of OTDR simulations. In our approach, the optical fiber network under test is treated as a linear time-invariant single-input/single-output system, which allows us to include the effects of the OTDR pulse shape. Furthermore, the limitations of current OTDR equipment such as (nonlinear) power saturation of the detector, limited dynamic range due to OTDR noise, and the finite bandwidth of the detector, are also incorporated into the simulation model. Our simulation results are experimentally verified with OTDR measurements, and we show an excellent agreement between the simulated traces and the measured traces. Especially, we demonstrate that the simulations properly handle PONs, that may contain a cascade of splitters, providing an important tool for telecom operators to investigate cost-effective centralized monitoring techniques in fiber-to-thehome networks.
- Jun 2014
- CLEO: Applications and Technology
We present our polymer micro-optics technology supply chain and its key constituents. We show how it is a key-enabler for frontier applied research and demonstrate how it paves the way towards efficient technology take-up and effective industrial innovation.
In this paper we demonstrate the proof-of-concept of an optofluidic module capable of simultaneous laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and absorbance (ABS) detection based on total internal reflection (TIR) optics. We discuss the design of the optofluidic detection module, its fabrication, and the setup used for the proof-of-concept. The injection of sample under test is done using two 3D printed syringe pumps, managing accurate injection and repeatable sample propagation through the detector module. We discuss the process of development behind these pumps and review their technical specifications. With this demonstrator setup we find that the limits of detection for the ABS and LIF detection of coumarin 480 are 500 nM and 100 nM respectively.
There is a steady increase in the demand for internet bandwidth, primarily driven by cloud services and high-definition video streaming. Europe's Digital Agenda states the ambitious objective that by 2020 all Europeans should have access to internet at speeds of 30Mb/s or above, with 50% or more of households subscribing to connections of 100Mb/s. Today however, internet access in Europe is mainly based on the first generation of broadband, meaning internet accessed over legacy telephone copper and TV cable networks. In recent years, Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) networks have been adopted as a replacement of traditional electrical connections for the `last mile' transmission of information at bandwidths over 1Gb/s. However, FTTH penetration is still very low (< 5%) in most major Western economies. The main reason for this is the high deployment cost of FTTH networks. Indeed, the success and adoption of optical access networks critically depend on the quality and reliability of connections between optical fibers. In particular a further reduction of insertion loss of field- installable connectors must be achieved without a significant increase in component cost. This requires precise alignment of fibers that can differ in terms of ellipticity, eccentricity or diameter and seems hardly achievable using today's widespread ferrule-based alignment systems. In this paper, we present a field-installable connector based on deflectable/compressible spring structures, providing a self-centering functionality for the fiber. This way, it can accommodate for possible fiber cladding diameter variations (the tolerance on the cladding diameter of G.652 fiber is typically ±0.7μm). The mechanical properties of the cantilever are derived through an analytical approximation and a mathematical model of the spring constant, and finite element-based simulations are carried out to find the maximum first principal stress as well as the stress distribution distribution in the fiber alignment structure. Elastic constants of the order of 104N=m are found to be compatible with a proof stress of 70 M Pa. We show the successful prototyping of 3-spring fiber alignment structures using deep proton writing and investigate their compatibility with replication techniques such as hot embossing and injection moulding. Fiber insertion in our self-centering alignment structures is achieved by means of a dedicated interferometric setup allowing assessment of the fiber facet quality, of the fiber's position in relation to the connector's front and of the spring deformation during fiber insertion. These self-centering structures have the potential to become the basic building blocks for a new generation of field-installable connectors, ultimately breaking the current paradigm of ferrule-based connectivity requiring extensive pre-engineering and highly specialized manpower for field deployment.
Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks provide an ideal means to reach the goal the European Union has set to provide 50 % of the households with a broadband connection faster than 100 Mb/s. Deployment of FTTH networks, which is still costly today, could be significantly boosted by novel ferrule-less connectors which don't require highly skilled personnel and allow installation in the field. We propose a ferrule-less connector in which two single-mode fibres (SMFs) are aligned and maintain physical contact by ensuring that at least one fibre is in a buckled state. To this end, we design a cavity in which a fibre can buckle in a controlled way. Using finite element analysis simulations to investigate the shape of the formed buckle for various buckling cavity lengths, we show that it can be accurately approximated by a cosine function. In addition, the optical performance of a buckled SMF is investigated by bending loss calculations and simulations. We show a good agreement between the analytical and the simulated bending loss results for a G.652 fibre at a wavelength of 1550 nm. Buckling cavity lengths smaller than 20 mm should be avoided to keep the optical bending loss due to buckling below 0.1 dB. In this case the cavity height should at least be 2 mm to avoid mechanical confinement of the fibre.
- Apr 2014
- SPIE Photonics Europe 2014
We present an advanced simulation tool for optical time-domain reflectometry (OTDR) with the ability to incorporate any OTDR pulse shape. According to our knowledge, the proposed OTDR simulator is the first one with this feature, thus progressing beyond the existing state of the art of OTDR simulations. Starting from a mathematical formalism, we develop the numerical implementation of the simulation tool. To include the effects of the OTDR pulse shape, the optical fiber network under test is treated in our approach as a linear time-invariant single-input/single-output system. Furthermore, the limitations of current OTDR equipment such as (nonlinear) power saturation of the OTDR detector, and limited dynamic range due to detector noise are also incorporated into the simulation model. Our simulation results are experimentally verified with OTDR measurements, and we show an excellent agreement between the simulated traces and the measured traces. The advanced OTDR simulation tool has proven to correctly reproduce measured traces of systems for various pulse widths, and is thus very valuable to evaluate the usability of OTDR measurements for a certain application, without the need to run actual OTDR measurements.
- Apr 2014
- Optics, Photonics, and Digital Technologies for Multimedia Applications III
Multichannel imaging systems have several potential applications such as multimedia, surveillance, medical imaging and machine vision, and have therefore been a hot research topic in recent years. Such imaging systems, inspired by natural compound eyes, have many channels, each covering only a portion of the total field-of-view of the system. As a result, these systems provide a wide field-of-view (FOV) while having a small volume and a low weight. Different approaches have been employed to realize a multichannel imaging system. We demonstrated that the different channels of the imaging system can be designed in such a way that they can have each different imaging properties (angular resolution, FOV, focal length). Using optical ray-tracing software (CODE V), we have designed a miniaturized multiresolution imaging system that contains three channels each consisting of four aspherical lens surfaces fabricated from PMMA material through ultra-precision diamond tooling. The first channel possesses the largest angular resolution (0.0096 degrees) and narrowest FOV (7 degrees), whereas the third channel has the widest FOV (80 degrees) and the smallest angular resolution (0.078 degrees). The second channel has intermediate properties. Such a multiresolution capability allows different image processing algorithms to be implemented on the different segments of an image sensor. This paper presents the experimental proof-of-concept demonstration of the imaging system using a commercial CMOS sensor and gives an in-depth analysis of the obtained results. Experimental images captured with the three channels are compared with the corresponding simulated images. The experimental MTF of the channels have also been calculated from the captured images of a slanted edge target test. This multichannel multiresolution approach opens the opportunity for low-cost compact imaging systems that can be equipped with smart imaging capabilities.
- Feb 2014
The World Health Organization accepts chromatographic fingerprints as a tool for identification and quality control of herbal medicines. This is the first study in which the distinction, identification and quality control of four different Artemisia species, i.e. Artemisia vulgaris, A. absinthium, A. annua and A. capillaris samples, is performed based on the evaluation of entire chromatographic fingerprint profiles developed with identical experimental conditions. High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) with Diode Array Detection (DAD) was used to develop the fingerprints. Application of factorial designs leads to methanol/water (80:20 (v/v)) as the best extraction solvent for the pulverised plant material and to a shaking bath for 30min as extraction method. Further, so-called screening, optimisation and fine-tuning phases were performed during fingerprint development. Most information about the different Artemisia species, i.e. the highest number of separated peaks in the fingerprint, was acquired on four coupled Chromolith columns (100mm×4.6mm I.D.). Trifluoroacetic acid 0.05% (v/v) was used as mobile-phase additive in a stepwise linear methanol/water gradient, i.e. 5, 34, 41, 72 and 95% (v/v) methanol at 0, 9, 30, 44 and 51min, where the last mobile phase composition was kept isocratic till 60min. One detection wavelength was selected to perform data analysis. The lowest similarity between the fingerprints of the four species was present at 214nm. The HPLC/DAD method was applied on 199 herbal samples of the four Artemisia species, resulting in 357 fingerprints. The within- and between-day variation of the entire method, as well as the quality control fingerprints obtained during routine analysis, were found acceptable. The distinction of these Artemisia species was evaluated based on the entire chromatographic profiles, developed by a shared method, and visualised in score plots by means of the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) exploratory data-analysis technique. Samples of different quality could be indicated on the score plots. No multi-component analysis was required to reach the goal. Furthermore, differences related to the origin of some of the not-certified samples were shown. The importance of the specific herbal part used for its identification was also presented. In addition, no differences were observed among fingerprints of lyophilised or conditioned-air dried samples. Finally, a classification technique, Soft Independent Modelling by Class Analogy (SIMCA), was successfully evaluated as identification technique for unknown samples. Six additional Artemisia species (29 herbal samples) were identified as not belonging to any of the four modelled classes. The developed chromatographic fingerprints and the evaluation of the entire profiles provide an added value to the distinction, identification and quality control of the simultaneously investigated Artemisia species.
We present an iterative design method for the coupling and the mode conversion of arbitrary modes to focused surface plasmons using a large array of aperiodically randomly located slits in a thin metal film. As the distance between the slits is small and the number of slits is large, significant mutual coupling occurs between the slits which makes an accurate computation of the field scattered by the slits difficult. We use an accurate modal source radiator model to efficiently compute the fields in a significantly shorter time compared with three-dimensional (3D) full-field rigorous simulations, so that iterative optimization is efficiently achieved. Since our model accounts for mutual coupling between the slits, the scattering by the slits of both the source wave and the focused surface plasmon can be incorporated in the optimization scheme. We apply this method to the design of various types of couplers for arbitrary fiber modes and a mode demultiplexer that focuses three orthogonal fiber modes to three different foci. Finally, we validate our design results using fully vectorial 3D finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations.
Question - What are the main design and analysis tools in optical communication and networks?
I am currently using RSoft OptSim for my Optical Communication Systems classes. Previously, I have used VPI TransmissionMaker. Both do their job well.
An algorithm for interpolation of central fringe position in lowcoherence interferometry measurements is presented. The algorithm is based on a polynomial curve fitting. Fast calculation of interpolation is possible due to the use of an NVIDIA Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) technology, which allows independent analysis of different points of a high-resolution detector matrix on separate cores of a graphics processing unit (GPU). The dependency of the method's accuracy on the spectral width of the light source is checked. The computation times on a GPU are compared with those achieved with a multicore central processing unit, showing nearly 30 times faster calculations when using CUDA technology. The algorithm accuracy is tested by measuring a flat glass surface with two different cameras-an ordinary CCD camera and a cooled EMCCD camera. Finally, the algorithm is applied to measurements of a populated optical fiber connector array prototyped using deep proton writing technology. (C) 2013 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
In conventional multichannel imaging systems, all channels have similar imaging properties [field-of-view (FOV) and angular resolution]. In our approach, channels are designed to have different imaging properties which add multiresolution capability to the system. We have experimentally demonstrated, for the first time to our knowledge, a three-channel imaging system which simultaneously captures multiple images having different magnifications and FOVs on an image sensor. Each channel consists of four aspherical lens surfaces fabricated from four PMMA plates by ultraprecision diamond tooling and of a baffle made from a titanium (Ti) and aluminum (Al) based metal alloy. The integrated imaging system is able to record a FOV of 7.6° with the first channel and 73° with the third channel while having a magnification ratio of about 6 between them. The experimental and simulation results, specifically the FOV and magnification ratios, are comparable, and this paves a way for low-cost, compact imaging systems which can embed smart imaging functionalities.
We present an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative for common waxes and fluoropolymer coatings to control the hydrophobicity of paper surfaces, in parallel with improved gloss. Organic nanoparticles were synthesized and deposited from an aqueous dispersion. Due to the high glass transition temperature of the nanoparticles, the evaporation of water during curing leads to the formation of a roughness profile with microdomains (> 1 mu m roughness) that are internally nanostructured (< 30 nm roughness). The hydrophobicity and gloss of this coating is controlled by a multilevel roughness profile in combination with fibrous substrates. As such, water contact angles of above 150 degrees can be obtained while maintaining high gloss. Further analysis of the surface morphology for uncoated and nanoparticle coated papers is made by non-contact optical profilometry and AFM measurements. The overall scale-length of roughness measurements can be covered by calculating the correlation length from each surface profile. As such, the gloss values relate to a surface texture parameter determined by the ratio of root-mean-square roughness and correlation length on the microscale. The anisotropy in gloss corresponds to different roughness values in parallel and perpendicular directions. The water contact angles relate to the surface texture parameter on the nanoscale.
- Jul 2013
The use of photonics in data communication and numerous other industrial applications brought plenty of prospects for innovation and opened up different unexplored market opportunities. This is a major driving force for the fabrication of micro-optical and micro-mechanical structures and their accurate alignment and integration into opto-mechanical modules and systems. To this end, we present Deep Proton Writing (DPW) as a powerful rapid prototyping technology for such micro-components. The DPW process consists of bombarding polymer samples (PMMA or SU-8) with swift protons, which results after chemical processing steps in high-quality micro-optical components. One of the strengths of the DPW micro-fabrication technology is the ability to fabricate monolithic building blocks that include micro-optical and mechanical functionalities which can be precisely integrated into more complex photonic systems. In this paper we comment on how we shifted from using 8.3 to 16.5 MeV protons for DPW and give some examples of micro-optical and micro-mechanical components recently fabricated through DPW, targeting applications in optical interconnections and in optofluidics.
- May 2013
The energy consumption per transmitted bit is becoming a crucial figure of merit for communication channels. In this paper, we study the design trade-offs in photodetectors, utilizing the energy per bit as a benchmark. We propose a generic model for a photodetector that takes optical and electrical properties into account. Using our formalism, we show how the parasitic capacitance of photodetectors can drastically alter the parameter values that lead to the optimal design. Given certain energy-per-bit and bandwidth requirements, is it possible that a photodetector optimized for the energy per bit would be noise limited? We identify different noise sources and model them in the simplest useful approximation in order to calculate this noise limit. Finally, we apply our theory to a practical case study for an integrated plasmonic photodetector, showing that energies per bit below 100 attojoules are feasible despite metallic losses and within noise limitations without the introduction of an optical cavity or voltage amplifying receiver circuits.
- Mar 2013
The energy consumption per transmitted bit is becoming a crucial figure of merit for communication channels. In this paper, we study the design tradeoffs in photodetectors, utilizing the energy per bit as a benchmark. We propose a generic model for a photodetector that takes optical and electrical properties into account. Using our formalism, we show how the parasitic capacitance of photodetectors can drastically alter the parameter values that lead to the optimal design. Finally, we apply our theory to a practical case study for an integrated plasmonic photodetector, showing that energies per bit below 100 attojoules are feasible despite metallic losses and within noise limitations without the introduction of an optical cavity or voltage amplifying receiver circuits.
- Jun 2012
- Applied Industrial Optics: Spectroscopy, Imaging and Metrology
We developed integrated plastic micro-optical detection units for absorbance and fluorescence measurements in various types of microfluidic channels. For each system we present the complete development process from optical design, to fabrication and proof-of-concept demonstration.
- Jun 2012
Transmitting ultra-high symbol rate optical signals remains a challenge due to their high sensitivity to fluctuations of GVD and higher orders of dispersion in the transmission link. Being able to cancel the impairments due to those fluctuations is a key requirement to make transmission of ultrashort optical pulses practical. We demonstrate an automatic compensation scheme able to keep an Optical Time Division Multiplexed (OTDM) signal stable at a bandwidth of up to 1.28 Tbaud in spite of external perturbations. Our approach is based on monitoring the signal with a photonic-chip-based all-optical RF-spectrum analyzer. The measurement of a single parameter extracted from the RF-spectrum is used to drive a multidimensional optimization algorithm. We apply the method to the real time simultaneous compensation for 2nd, 3rd and 4th order dispersion using an LCOS spectral pulse shaper (SPS) as a tunable dispersion compensator.
We present micro-optical detection units for both laser-induced fluorescence and absorbance analysis. The detection systems are designed by means of non-sequential ray tracing simulations and prototyped by means of deep proton writing. In a proof-of-concept demonstration, the micro-optical unit is used for the detection of various concentrations of coumarin dyes. Several measures to increase the signal-to-noise ratio, such as automation of the sample injection, improved suppression of environmental stray light, usage of optimal detectors and simple yet effective post-processing of the raw detection signals are implemented, resulting in a concentration measurement range for fluorescence from 6pM up to 0.6mM and for absorbance from 0.6μM to 12mM. The wide measurement range and the possibility of using standard fabrication techniques to prototype and replicate this miniaturized plastic system, make it a good candidate for applications where small samples need to be characterized optically with a low-cost and portable system.
Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) networks have been adopted as a potential replacement of traditional electrical connections for the 'last mile' transmission of information at bandwidths over 1Gb/s. However, the success and adoption of optical access networks critically depend on the quality and reliability of connections between optical fibers. In particular a further reduction of insertion loss of field-installable connectors must be achieved without a significant increase in component cost. This requires precise alignment of fibers that can differ in terms of ellipticity, eccentricity or diameter and seems hardly achievable using today's widespread ferrule-based alignment systems. Novel low-cost structures for bare fiber alignment with outstanding positioning accuracies are strongly desired as they would allow reducing loss beyond the level achievable with ferrule-bore systems. However, the realization of such alignment system is challenging as it should provide sufficient force to position the fiber with sub-micron accuracy required in positioning the fiber. In this contribution we propose, design and prototype a bare-fiber alignment system which makes use of deflectable/compressible micro-cantilevers. Such cantilevers behave as springs and provide self-centering functionality to the structure. Simulations of the mechanical properties of the cantilevers are carried out in order to get an analytical approximation and a mathematical model of the spring constant and stress in the structure. Elastic constants of the order of 104 to 105N/m are found out to be compatible with a proof stress of 70 MPa. Finally a first self-centering structure is prototyped in PMMA using our Deep Proton Writing technology. The spring constants of the fabricated cantilevers are in the range of 4 to 6 × 104N/m and the stress is in the range 10 to 20 MPa. These self-centering structures have the potential to become the basic building blocks for a new generation of field-installable connectors.
- May 2012
Similarity assessment of complex chromatographic profiles of herbal medicinal products is important as a potential tool for their identification. Mathematical similarity parameters have the advantage to be more reliable than visual similarity evaluations of often subtle differences between the fingerprint profiles. In this paper, different similarity analysis (SA) parameters are applied on green-tea chromatographic fingerprint profiles in order to test their ability to identify (dis)similar tea samples. These parameters are either based on correlation or distance measurements. They are visualised in colour maps and evaluation plots. Correlation (r) and congruence (c) coefficients are shown to provide the same information about the similarity of samples. The standardised Euclidean distance (ds) reveals less information than the Euclidean distance (de), while Mahalanobis distances (dm) are unsuitable for the similarity assessment of chromatographic fingerprints. The adapted similarity score (ss*) combines the advantages of r (or c) and de. Similarity analysis based on correlation is useful if concentration differences between samples are not important, whereas SA based on distances also detects concentration differences well. The evaluation plots including statistical confidence limits for the plotted parameter are found suitable for the evaluation of new suspected samples during quality assurance. The ss* colour maps and evaluation plots are found to be the best tools (in comparison to the other studied parameters) for the distinction between deviating and genuine fingerprints. For all studied data sets it is confirmed that adequate data pre-treatment, such as aligning the chromatograms, prior to the similarity assessment, is essential. Furthermore, green-tea samples chromatographed on two dissimilar High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) columns provided the same similarity assessment. Combining these complementary fingerprints did not improve the similarity analysis of the studied data set.
We review waveform analysis and optical performance monitoring of ultrabroadband signals using a photonic-chip-based radio-frequency spectrum analyzer. This approach offers the potential for fast integrated monitoring and characterization of signals with bandwidths beyond 1 THz.
- Feb 2012
One of the important challenges for the deployment of the emerging breed of nanotechnology components is interfacing them with the external world, preferably accomplished with low-cost micro-optical devices. For the fabrication of this kind of micro-optical components, we make use of deep proton writing (DPW) as a generic rapid prototyping technology. DPW consists of bombarding polymer samples with swift protons, which results after chemical processing steps in high quality micro-optical components. The strength of the DPW micro-machining technology is the ability to fabricate monolithic building blocks that include micro-optical and mechanical functionalities which can be precisely integrated into more complex photonic systems. In this paper we give an overview of the process steps of the technology and we present several examples of micro-optical and micro-mechanical components, fabricated through DPW, targeting applications in printed circuit baordlevel optical interconnections. These include: high-precision 2-D fiber connectors, discrete out-of-plane coupling structures featuring high-quality 45° and curved micro-mirrors, arrays of high aspect ratio micro-pillars and backplane connectors. While DPW is clearly not a mass fabrication technique as such, one of its assets is that once the master component has been prototyped, a metal mould can be generated from the DPW master by applying electroplating. After removal of the plastic master, this metal mould can be used as a shim in a final microinjection moulding or hot embossing step. This way, the master component can be mass-produced at low cost in a wide variety of high-tech plastics.
We report the demonstration of automatic higher-order dispersion compensation for the transmission of 275 fs pulses associated with a Tbaud Optical Time Division Multiplexed (OTDM) signal. Our approach achieves simultaneous automatic compensation for 2nd, 3rd and 4th order dispersion using an LCOS spectral pulse shaper (SPS) as a tunable dispersion compensator and a dispersion monitor made of a photonic-chip-based all-optical RF-spectrum analyzer. The monitoring approach uses a single parameter measurement extracted from the RF-spectrum to drive a multidimensional optimization algorithm. Because these pulses are highly sensitive to fluctuations in the GVD and higher orders of chromatic dispersion, this work represents a key result towards practical transmission of ultrashort optical pulses. The dispersion can be adapted on-the-fly for a 1.28 Tbaud signal at any place in the transmission line using a black box approach.
- Jul 2011
I describe the development of highly nonlinear chalcogenide glass waveguides for photonics and their application as nonlinear optical devices for high speed processing and monitoring of telecommunications signals.
This paper presents the development of an advanced packaging technique for commercially available optoelectronic devices. Vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) diodes and photodiodes are thinned down to 20 μm thickness, and are embedded in flexible carriers, resulting in a 75-μm-thin package, which can be bent down to a bending radius of 2 mm. Electrical, optical, and mechanical characterization addresses the influence of thinning and embedding of bare optoelectronic chips on their main properties. Next to the embedded optoelectronics, also electrical ICs like amplifiers and drivers can be housed in the same thin flexible package, using an identical technology and layer build-up. Finally, this new packaging approach is demonstrated in two different integrated sensor applications and in an integrated optical interconnection. For the latter application, also waveguides and optical out-of-plane coupling elements are integrated in the package and the complete system reliability is assessed by accelerated aging tests.
We present the results of a study to assess the viability of optical datacommunication solutions to alleviate the demands regarding power consumption and aggregate bandwidth imposed on future satellite communication payloads. Optimiza- tion of the satellite real-estate usage push payload designers towards very large capacity, high computational and flexible, transparent digital solutions, handling a total internal digital througput in excess of 1 Tb/s to cope with the increasing bandwidth demand of future broadband communication services. Index Terms—optical interconnects, satellite, telecommunica- tions I. INTRODUCTION Interconnect solutions based on optics clearly leverage the bandwidth appetite of new and emerging broadband communi- cation services like High Definition Television, Video On De- mand and Triple Play easily whereas electrical interconnection schemes require an ever-increasing effort to counteract signal distortions at higher bitrates. The satellite telecommunication sector face similar challenges as their terrestial counterparts. Moreover, a number of constraints based on an optimal use of the satellite real-estate push the future towards payloads towards very large capacity, high computational and flexible, transparent digital solutions, handling a total internal digital througput in excess of 1 Tb/s. Therefore, the European Space Agency (ESA) commis- sioned an "Interchip-Optical Communications and Photonic PCBs for next generation on-board processors" study to be carried out by the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT, as prime contractor), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Atmel, and Thales Alenia Space. The project included a thorough review (1) on the inter-chip optical interconnection technologies by VUB and VTT to assess the viability in terms of power consumption, throughput and mass of optical data- communication solutions for future satellite communication payloads.
- Apr 2011
Papers have a complex hierarchical structure and the end-user functionalities such as hydrophobicity are controlled by a finishing layer. The application of an organic nanoparticle coating and drying of the aqueous dispersion results in an unique surface morphology with microscale domains that are internally patterned with nanoparticles. Better understanding of the multi-scale surface roughness patterns is obtained by monitoring the topography with non-contact profilometry (NCP) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) at different sampling areas ranging from 2000 mu m x 2000 mu m to 0.5 mu m x 0.5 mu m. The statistical roughness parameters are uniquely related to each other over the different measuring techniques and sampling sizes, as they are purely statistically determined. However, they cannot be directly extrapolated over the different sampling areas as they represent transitions at the nano-, micro-to-nano and microscale level. Therefore, the spatial roughness parameters including the correlation length and the specific frequency bandwidth should be taken into account for each measurement, which both allow for direct correlation of roughness data at different sampling sizes. (C) 2011 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.
- Mar 2011
We demonstrate in-band optical signal to noise monitoring of an 1.28 Tbit/s signal by implementing an interferometer inside a reconfigurable wavelength selective switch based on liquid crystal on silicon technology.
- Jan 2011
We present automatic and simultaneous compensation of combined higher-order dispersion and GVD fluctuations of a 1.28 Tbaud signal using a photonic-chip based RF-spectrum analyser and a spectral pulse-shaper. (C) 2010 Optical Society of America
- Nov 2010
We present the design of discrete out-of-plane coupling components featuring a micromirror for 90° beam deflection in multimode optical interconnections at the printed circuit board level. We investigate the Goos-Hanchen shift that occurs upon total internal reflection at a 45° micromirror and assess the influence of applying a metal reflection coating on the micromirror as well as the tolerance for mechanical misalignments using nonsequential ray tracing simulations. Finally, we compare the simulated performance with experimental measurements on out-of-plane coupling components prototyped with deep proton writing.
We present automatic dispersion control of 1.28Tb/s optical time domain multiplexed signals. The dispersion is monitored by measuring the power of the 1.28THz tone of the RF spectrum using a photonic-chip-based radio-frequency spectrum analyzer (PC-RFSA) and the dispersion compensation is realized by means of a spectral pulse shaper, via computer-controlled feedback from the PC-RFSA.
The interferogram of a high index phase mask of 200 nm period under normal incidence of a collimated beam at 244 nm wavelength with substantially suppressed zeroth order produces a 100 nm period grating in a resist film under immersion. The paper describes the phase mask design, its fabrication, the effect of electron-beam lithographic stitching errors and optical assessment of the fabricated sub-cutoff grating.
- Apr 2010
As the bit rates of optical networks increase, the ability of accurate monitoring of optical waveforms has become increasingly important. In recent years, optical sampling has emerged as a technique to perform time-resolved measurements of optical data signals at high data rates with a bandwidth that cannot be reached by conventional photodetectors and oscilloscopes. In an optical sampling system, the optical signal is sampled in the optical domain by a nonlinear optical sampling gate before the resulting samples are converted to an electrical signal. This avoids the need for high bandwidth electronics if the optical sampling gate is operated with a modest repetition frequency. In this paper, we present an optical sampling system using the optical Kerr effect in a highly nonlinear chalcogenide device, enabling combined capability for femtosecond resolution and broadband signal wavelength tunability. A temporal resolution 450-fs is achieved using four-wave mixing (FWM) in dispersion-engineered chalcogenide waveguides: on one hand a 7-cm long planar waveguide (integrated on a photonic chip) and on the other hand a 5-cm long tapered fiber. The use of a short length, dispersion-shifted waveguide with ultrahigh nonlinearity (10000/W/km) enables high-resolution optical sampling without the detrimental effect of chromatic dispersion on the temporal distortion of the signal and sampling pulses, as well as their phase mismatch (which in turn would degrade the FWM efficiency and the sensitivity of the measurement). Using these chalcogenide devices, we successfully monitor a 640-Gb/s optical time-division multiplexing (OTDM) datastream, showcasing its potential for monitoring of signals at bitrates approaching and beyond Tb/s. We compare the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches and discuss fundamental limitations as well as potential improvements.
- Apr 2010
- Micro-Optics 2010
To realize a high density matrix of pressure sensors, mainly electrical approaches are reported. The proposed high-density optical pressure sensor is based on a matrix of 2 stacked layers of crossing multimode waveguides. When pressure is applied on a crossing point, the distance between the waveguides from the upper and lower layer will decrease and power is transmitted between these waveguides. The sensor consists of polymer waveguides embedded in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) which is a very flexible material. Therefore, it is ideally suited to be applied on irregular or moving surfaces especially for applications which require covering small areas with high density pressure sensors.
Proceedings of the SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering Vol.7716, 77161E The increased demand of broadband communication services like High Definition Television, Video On Demand, Triple Play, fuels the technologies to enhance the bandwidth of individual users towards service providers and hence the increase of aggregate bandwidths on terrestial networks. Optical solutions clearly leverage the bandwidth appetite easily whereas electrical interconnection schemes require an ever-increasing effort to counteract signal distortions at higher bitrates. Dense wavelength division multiplexing and all-optical signal regeneration and switching solve the bandwidth demands of network trunks. Fiber-to-the-home, and fiber-to-the-desk are trends towards providing individual users with greatly increased bandwidth. Operators in the satellite telecommunication sector face similar challenges fuelled by the same demands as for their terrestial counterparts. Moreover, the limited number of orbital positions for new satellites set the trend for an increase in payload datacommunication capacity using an ever-increasing number of complex multi-beam active antennas and a larger aggregate bandwidth. Only satellites with very large capacity, high computational density and flexible, transparent fully digital payload solutions achieve affordable communication prices. To keep pace with the bandwidth and flexibility requirements, designers have to come up with systems requiring a total digital throughput of a few Tb/s resulting in a high power consuming satellite payload. An estimated 90 % of the total power consumption per chip is used for the off-chip communication lines. We have undertaken a study to assess the viability of optical datacommunication solutions to alleviate the demands regarding power consumption and aggregate bandwidth imposed on future satellite communication payloads. The review on optical interconnects given here is especially focussed on the demands of the satellite communication business and the particular environment in which the optics have to perform their functionality: space. (85 refs.) Micro-Optics 2010. Brussels, Belgium, 12 - 16 April 2010
Optical interconnections have gained interest over the last years, and several approaches have been presented for the integration of optics to the printed circuit board (PCB)-level. The use of a polymer optical waveguide layer appears to be the prevailing solution to route optical signals on the PCB. The most difficult issue is the efficient out-of-plane coupling of light between surface-normal optoelectronic devices (lasers and photodetectors) and PCB-integrated waveguides. The most common approach consists of using 45° reflecting micro-mirrors. The micro-mirror performance significantly affects the total insertion loss of the optical interconnect system, and hence has a crucial role on the system's bit error rate (BER) characteristics. Several technologies have been proposed for the fabrication of 45° reflector micro-mirrors directly into waveguides. Alternatively, it is possible to make use of discrete coupling components which have to be inserted into cavities formed in the PCB-integrated waveguides. In this paper, we present a hybrid approach where we try to combine the advantages of integrated and discrete coupling mirrors, i.e. low coupling loss and maintenance of the planararity of the top surface of the optical layer, allowing the lamination of additional layers or the mounting of optoelectronic devices. The micro-mirror inserts are designed through non-sequential ray tracing simulations, including a tolerance analysis, and subsequently prototyped with Deep Proton Writing (DPW). The DPW prototypes are compatible with mass fabrication at low cost in a wide variety of high-tech plastics. The DPW micro-mirror insert is metallized and inserted in a laser ablated cavity in the optical layer and in a next step covered with cladding material. Surface roughness measurements confirm the excellent quality of the mirror facet. An average mirror loss of 0.35-dB was measured in a receiver scheme, which is the most stringent configuration. Finally, the configuration is robust, since the mirror is embedded and thus protected from environmental contamination, like dust or moisture adsorption, which makes them interesting candidates for out-of-plane coupling in high-end boards.
One of the most important challenges in multiple-fiber connectors is to achieve accurate fiber positioning, i.e. to ensure that the fiber end facets coincide with the front facet of the connector plate. Therefore, it is crucial to increase the accuracy of the assembly process of fiber connectors. We present the population of a plastic multi-fiber connector designed for optical interconnect applications with silica fiber, with a good uniformity of fiber protrusion across the array of +/-2.5-mum. To this end, an interferometric setup for in situ monitoring of fiber tip positions during the insertion phase was developed. It ensures an accurate fiber tip position at the fiber connector's front facet and across the fiber array in cases where post-insertion polishing is not possible. Furhermore, our setup can provide us with insight into the influence of the curing process (e.g. shrinkage) on the tip position during the fiber fixation step and allows us to assess the fiber facet quality. We compare the fiber tip position measured in situ using our setup with the position measured off-line using a commercial white light interferometer, showing a deviation smaller than 5%.
One of the important challenges for the deployment of the emerging breed of nanotechnology components is interfacing them with the external world, preferably accomplished with low-cost micro-optical devices. For the fabrication of this kind of micro-optical modules, we make use of deep proton writing (DPW) as a generic rapid prototyping technology. DPW consists of bombarding polymer samples with swift protons, which results after chemical processing steps in high quality micro-optical components. The strength of the DPW micro-machining technology is the ability to fabricate monolithic building blocks that include micro-optical and mechanical functionalities which can be precisely integrated into more complex photonic systems. In this paper we give an overview of the process steps of the technology and we present several examples of micro-optical and micro-mechanical components, fabricated through DPW, targeting applications in optical interconnections and in bio-photonics. These include: high-precision 2-D fiber connectors, out-of-plane coupling structures featuring high-quality 45° and curved micro-mirrors, arrays of high aspect ratio micro-pillars, and fluorescence and absorption detection bio-photonics modules. While DPW is clearly not a mass fabrication technique as such, one of its assets is that once the master component has been prototyped, a metal mould can be generated from the DPW master by applying electroplating. After removal of the plastic master, this metal mould can be used as a shim in a final microinjection moulding or hot embossing step. This way, the master component can be mass-produced at low cost in a wide variety of high-tech plastics.
- Mar 2010
The use of a tapered chalcogenide fibre for optical sampling of high bit-rate signals through four-wave mixing is demonstrated. The taper's ultra-high nonlinearity (Â¿ = 10000/W/km), low dispersion (D = 40ps/nm/km) and short length (5 cm) ensure that signal and pump pulses are not distorted by chromatic aberration effects. This enables high-resolution optical sampling with a broad signal wavelength tuning range. The device was used to monitor a 640 Gbit/s data signal, with a temporal resolution of 450fs.
- Feb 2010
We present an interferometric setup for in situ monitoring of fiber tip positions when inserting optical fibers for fixation in fiber connector components. It ensures an accurate fiber tip position at the fiber connector's front facet and across the fiber array in cases where postinsertion polishing is not possible. We demonstrate our technique by populating a plastic fiber connector for optical interconnect applications, and compare the fiber tip position measured in situ using our setup with the position measured off-line using a commercial white light interferometer, showing a deviation smaller than 5%.
We present the first demonstration of an optical sampling system, using the optical Kerr effect in a chip-scale device, enabling combined capability for femtosecond resolution and broad-band signal wavelength tunability. A temporal resolution <500 fs is achieved using four-wave mixing in a 7-cm-short chalcogenide planar waveguide. The use of a short length, dispersion-shifted waveguide with ultrahigh nonlinearity (10(4) W-1.km(-1)) enables high-resolution optical sampling without the detrimental effect of chromatic dispersion on the temporal distortion of the signal and sampling pulses, as well as their phase mismatch. Using the device, we successfully monitor a 640-Gb/s optical time-division multiplexing (OTDM) datastream, showcasing its potential for integrated chip-based monitoring of signals at bitrates approaching and beyond Tb/s. We discuss fundamental limitations and potential improvements.
Awards & Achievements (3)
Award · Oct 2008
Barco High Tech Award for Scientific Research
Award · Dec 2003
Laureate of the Engineering Prize of the National Belgian Engineering Association (K-VIV)
Award · Dec 2003
Barco Prize for Master Thesis