Abstract

Vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) have been recognized as low-cost low-power light sources for applications, such as, optoelectronic (OE) interconnects for high-speed optical data communication. However, many VCSEL applications have not been fully realized due to the lack of solutions to technical issues such as optical coupling, alignment, interconnects, and RF compatibility. In this paper, the authors propose microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and MEMS-enabled ink-jet printing technologies to provide improved solutions to these technically challenging problems in OE-device packaging. Wafer-level microoptical elements consisting of transparent polymeric pedestals and microlenses were designed and fabricated directly on top of the VCSEL-emitting facets to improve the optical-coupling efficiency between the VCSEL and the optical fiber. Self-aligning MEMS clampers and micromold structures were designed and fabricated for precise packaging and reliable electrical connection of diced VCSEL arrays. This novel packaging process is substrate independent and relatively simple. This technique will provide a reliable assembly of OE devices in miniature optical systems on various substrates.

© 2006 IEEE

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