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Three-Step Molding Softlithographic Process for 1×2 Y-Branch POF Coupler

By Mohd Shafiq Mat Ghazali and Abang Annuar Ehsan
Progress In Electromagnetics Research Letters, Vol. 55, 53-60, 2015


A three-step molding softlithographic process has been developed for the construction of a sharp Y-junction structure formation in a 1x2 Y-branch plastic optical fiber (POF) coupler design. The 1x2 Y-branch POF coupler is based on a Y-junction splitter which requires that the splitting part is constructed with sharp infinitesimal junction. The softlithographic process enables a PDMS mold to be constructed which then allows mass replication of the polymer-based POF coupler. A standard master mold based on PMMA material is fabricated using CNC milling. A secondary or auxiliary-mold process step is then introduced in order to produce a sharp Y-junction structure which is then transferred to the final PDMS stamp prior to device replication. This step utilizes a free flowing, low viscosity casting-based resin, which after curing and hardening provide the auxiliary mold for PDMS mold fabrication. The result shows that a very fine and sharp Y-junction structure can be produced easily which cannot be produced via standard two step molding softlithographic process. Models for the Y-branch POF coupler produced with and without an auxiliary mold process are constructed which show that a 16% increased in optical performance with the device replicated with the auxiliary mold process.


Mohd Shafiq Mat Ghazali and Abang Annuar Ehsan, "Three-Step Molding Softlithographic Process for 1×2 Y-Branch POF Coupler," Progress In Electromagnetics Research Letters, Vol. 55, 53-60, 2015.


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