Advanced optical coupling solutions for datacenter transceiver platforms

Lead Research Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering and Physical Science


The demand for optical transceivers in datacenters is growing at an unprecedented rate due to the rise of video streaming and cloud computing. The push for ever faster transceivers, at lower cost and in ever smaller packages is putting considerable strain on photonic transceiver devices. Key emerging technologies such as silicon photonics and flip chip assembly of integrated optical platforms are being developed to meet future needs. All however require to efficiently interface to fibre and waveguide architectures and provide low cost automated assembly while maintaining accuracy and performance.

This project will involve the definition, design, development, fabrication and test of novel glass based photonic coupling structures using combined direct laser write, chemical etching and surface shaping. This is targeted to simplify assembly processes to transceiver platforms, for both Silicon Photonic and VCSEL based architectures, and provide high volume product solutions to meet anticipated future demand. The work will focus on achieving: a) low coupling losses b) relaxed alignment tolerances c) high levels of reliability.

The coupling structures will be fabricated at Optoscribe's state of the art clean room fabrication facility in Livingston and activities will span from optically modelling the structures using photonic design tools, to transferring designs into prototype manufacturing, taking the parts through processing, singulation and optical test.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512539/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021
1949696 Studentship EP/R512539/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Rowan Pocock
Description An optical apparatus 20 for evanescently coupling an optical signal across an interface 30 is described. The optical apparatus 20 comprises a first substrate 22 and a second substrate 24. The optical signal is evanescently coupled between a first waveguide 26 formed by laser inscription of the first substrate 22 and a second waveguide 28 of the second substrate 22. The first waveguide 26 comprises a curved section 34 configured to provide evanescent coupling of the optical signal between the first and second waveguides 26, 28 via the interface 30. 
IP Reference US2019265415 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2019
Licensed No
Impact This patent has been the prerequisite to a number of development contracts for Optoscribe.