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Press Release 2005


- Excellent Transparency, Flexibility, Manufacturability

Photo-sensitive Epoxy Developed for Use in Optical Waveguides

Nitto Denko Corporation (Ibaraki City, Osaka. CEO: Masamichi Takemoto) is pleased to announce that it has developed a unique new photo-sensitive epoxy material which can be used for optical waveguides. This new material is highly transparent in the near-infrared range, and flexible, so that optical circuits can be created by patterning using ultra-violet exposure, replacing conventional dry-etching processes. Thus, the new material will be applicable in optical circuit boards.

Embedded optical waveguides can be created using the photo-sensitive epoxy material. The light-transmitting part (core) pattern surface is flat with a rectangular cross-section. The wrapping around the core (clad) can also be embedded, allowing construction of a 100µm film on the substrate. The optical characteristics of the material are excellent, leading to low 0.1 dB/cm losses over the 0.7–1.0µm range. Excellent flexibility enables the material to be used in film circuits.

new photo-sensitive epoxy material

In addition, manufacturing is made easier with the new material. Optical waveguide patterns can be created using a simple, ultraviolet exposure and developing process. Thus the conventional dry-etching process is no longer required. The material will also yeild benefits in the field optical interconnection, between substrates and chips, as a material for optical wave guides between parts inside electronic equipment of several mm to tens of cm.

Nitto Denko has developed this new photo-conductive material, cultivating its transparent polymer design and photo-sensitive process technologies experience of many years, in response to the growing demand for a low-cost, highly reliable optical waveguide material to transmit optical signals efficiently. Demand is growing along with completion of high-speed, high-capacity communications infrastructure as we enter the broad-band era, and in anticipation that optical communications will soon be used even at the consumer level and within electronic equipment instead of just for major communications trunk-lines.

This development was announced and exhibited at the OFC 2005 trade show, held Mar. 8-10, 2005 (Anaheim, CA).

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