Precise Passive Alignment as a Viable Option for Photonic Applications

It is time to restart our series of expert sessions with our photonic experts. Going forward, we want to expand the topics of our online events to include Fraunhofer IZM’s entire range of photonics products and services. We will be presenting speakers and projects from all our working groups and departments working on photonic packaging.

Precise Passive Alignment as a Viable Option for Photonic Applications – December 01, 2022

Speaker: Charles-Alix Manier

The last years have seen a virtual explosion in internet traffic. This trend continues unabated, not least due to the democratization and proliferation of cloud services, social media, home/mobile entertainment, and big data analytics. It is feeding a steady global hunger for ever more data system components handling ever greater bandwidths.

At the same time, one of the principal bottlenecks in terms of the fabrication time and cost of photonic modules remains in the assembly of single optical elements. These demand particular precision, especially for efficient coupling of In and Out light signals in each subsystem, from „macroscopic to microscopic” and vice versa. Current transceiver production relies essentially on active alignment, using active feedback between light intensity coupled between the fibres and a 6-axis alignment stage with active driving of the semiconductor using dedicated holders. The resulting process is slow, complex, and costly. Fraunhofer IZM proposes to go beyond active alignment and explore a parallel approach for the precise assembly of photonic chips by passive flip chip integration in line with the current technological limitations.

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