Waveguide Optics

The Fraunhofer IOF has many years of experience in the field of developing components and circuits in waveguide optics for a range of fields of application. In addition to applications for optical signal transmission and sensor technology, such things as innovative approaches to internal waveguide beam shaping of broad area lasers are developed.

Mask-based and direct-writing lithographic procedures for a range of materials are available for waveguide production.

Masked based litographic production process

The standard production technology is based on the UV exposure of layer stacks made of organic-anorganic hybrid polymers or other acrylate-based materials in a mask aligner.

The Fraunhofer IOF spin-off, “GRINTECH GmbH”, is responsible for the production of glass waveguides using the ion exchange process.

Direct writing litographic production process

The direct-writing procedure with ultrashort laser pulses enables complex three-dimensional structures which cannot be achieved using conventional methods. On the one hand, the waveguide can be realized in polymers with two-photon absorption, on the other with direct writing on various glasses or crystals.

Waveguide design, waveguide characterization and functional analysis

Commercial and specially-developed software is used for waveguide design.

For waveguide characterization, m-line spectroscopy, attenuation testing and an RNF measuring set-up are available to determine the refractive index distribution in the waveguide cross-section.

Functional analyses are undertaken with sources and receivers from the UV to the NIR range.