Photonic chips: toward high-throughput alignment of optical fibers

Categorie(s) : Industry, News, Research

Published : 2 October 2021

In research for the European Union H2020 Pixapp project, CEA-Leti scientists have developed a sub-micron-precision passive automated microlens alignment process.
If the new process’ potential is confirmed, it will allow photonic chips to be connected to several optical fibers five to ten times faster than today’s processes.
Here’s how it works. First, capped copper bumps are placed on the chip. Next, a small gold bead is placed on the microlens.
When the chip and microlens are welded together, capillary action automatically aligns them.
The process is effective on fibers initially misaligned by up to seven microns. It was tested on chip-to-chip assemblies. Next up: wafer-level testing.
A patent has been filed to protect the process.


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