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In-Situ 3D Nano-Printing of Freeform Coupling Elements for Hybrid Photonic Integration

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posted on 2023-11-30, 05:09 authored by P. -I. Dietrich, M. Blaicher, I. Reuter, M. Billah, T. Hoose, A. Hofmann, C. Caer, R. Dangel, B. Offrein, U. Troppenz, W. Freude, C. Koos
Hybrid photonic integration exploits complementary strengths of different material platforms, thereby offering superior performance and design flexibility in comparison to monolithic approaches. This applies in particular to multi-chip concepts, where components can be individually optimized and tested on separate dies before integration into more complex systems. The assembly of such systems, however, still represents a major challenge, requiring complex and expensive processes for high-precision alignment as well as careful adaptation of optical mode profiles. Here we show that these challenges can be overcome by in-situ nano-printing of freeform beam-shaping elements to facets of optical components. The approach is applicable to a wide variety of devices and assembly concepts and allows adaptation of vastly dissimilar mode profiles while considerably relaxing alignment tolerances to the extent that scalable, cost-effective passive assembly techniques can be used. We experimentally prove the viability of the concept by fabricating and testing a selection of beam-shaping elements at chip and fiber facets, achieving coupling efficiencies of up to 88 % between an InP laser and an optical fiber. We also demonstrate printed freeform mirrors for simultaneously adapting beam shape and propagation direction, and we explore multi-lens systems for beam expansion. The concept paves the way to automated fabrication of photonic multi-chip assemblies with unprecedented performance and versatility.

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