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In situ 3D nanoprinting of free-form coupling elements for hybrid photonic integration

: Dietrich, P.-I.; Blaicher, M.; Reuter, I.; Billah, M.; Hoose, T.; Hofmann, A.; Caer, C.; Dangel, R.; Offrein, B.; Troppenz, U.; Moehrle, M.; Freude, W.; Koos, C.


Nature photonics 12 (2018), Nr.4, S.241-247
ISSN: 1749-4885
ISSN: 1749-4893
Fraunhofer HHI ()

Hybrid photonic integration combines complementary advantages of different material platforms, offering superior performance and flexibility compared with monolithic approaches. This applies in particular to multi-chip concepts, where components can be individually optimized and tested. The assembly of such systems, however, requires expensive high-precision alignment and adaptation of optical mode profiles. We show that these challenges can be overcome by in situ printing of facet-attached beam-shaping elements. Our approach allows precise adaptation of vastly dissimilar mode profiles and permits alignment tolerances compatible with cost-efficient passive assembly techniques. We demonstrate a selection of beam-shaping elements at chip and fibre facets, achieving coupling efficiencies of up to 88% between edge-emitting lasers and single-mode fibres. We also realize printed free-form mirrors that simultaneously adapt beam shape and propagation direction, and we explore multi-lens systems for beam expansion. The concept paves the way to automated assembly of photonic multi-chip systems with unprecedented performance and versatility.