Abstract

Silica (SiO2) optical waveguides have been fabricated on the surface of silicone [(SiO(CH3)2)n] rubber by photochemical modification of silicone rubber into silica with 157nm F2-laser radiation. The 2mm thick silicone was exposed through a thin (0.2mm) air layer to generate oxygen radicals that chemically assisted in the silica transformation. Silica waveguides were defined in 816μm wide exposure strips by a proximity Cr-on-CaF2 photomask. Optimum laser processing conditions are presented for generating crack-free waveguides with good optical transparency at red (635nm) and infrared (1550nm) wavelengths. A propagation loss of 6dBcm is reported at the 1550nm wavelength.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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