Repository logo

High-bandwidth and low-loss multimode polymer waveguides and waveguide components for high-speed board-level optical interconnects

Published version

Repository DOI

Change log


Bamiedakis, Nikolaos  ORCID logo
Chen, J 
Penty, RV 
White, IH 


Multimode polymer waveguides are being increasingly considered for use in short-reach board-level optical interconnects as they exhibit favourable optical properties and allow direct integration onto standard PCBs with conventional methods of the electronics industry. Siloxane-based multimode waveguides have been demonstrated with excellent optical transmission performance, while a wide range of passive waveguide components that offer routing flexibility and enable the implementation of complex on-board interconnection architectures has been reported. In recent work, we have demonstrated that these polymer waveguides can exhibit very high bandwidth-length products in excess of 30 GHz×m despite their highly-multimoded nature, while it has been shown that even larger values of > 60 GHz×m can be achieved by adjusting their refractive index profile. Furthermore, the combination of refractive index engineering and launch conditioning schemes can ensure high bandwidth (> 100 GHz×m) and high coupling efficiency (< 1 dB) with standard multimode fibre inputs with relatively large alignment tolerances (~17×15 μm^2 ). In the work presented here, we investigate the effects of refractive index engineering on the performance of passive waveguide components (crossings, bends) and provide suitable design rules for their on-board use. It is shown that, depending on the interconnection layout and link requirements, appropriate choice of refractive index profile can provide enhanced component performance, ensuring low loss interconnection and adequate link bandwidth. The results highlight the strong potential of this versatile optical technology for the formation of high-performance board-level optical interconnects with high routing flexibility.



optical interconnects, polymer waveguides, waveguide components, waveguide bandwidth

Journal Title

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering

Conference Name


Journal ISSN


Volume Title


The authors would like to acknowledge Dow Corning for the provision of the polymer samples and the UK EPSRC for supporting this work . Additional data related to this publication is available at the University of Cambridge data repository (