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Integrated optical and electronic interconnect printed circuit board manufacturing

David R. Selviah (Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College London, London, UK)
F. Aníbal Fernández (Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College London, London, UK)
Ioannis Papakonstantinou (Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College London, London, UK)
Kai Wang (Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College London, London, UK)
Hadi Bagshiahi (Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College London, London, UK)
Andy C. Walker (School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
Aongus McCarthy (School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
Himanshu Suyal (School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
David A. Hutt (Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, UK)
Paul P. Conway (Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, UK)
John Chappell (Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, UK)
Shefiu S. Zakariyah (Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, UK)
Dave Milward (Xyratex Technology Ltd, Havant, UK)

Circuit World

ISSN: 0305-6120

Article publication date: 16 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose

To introduce the Innovative Electronics Manufacturing Research Centre Flagship Project: Integrated Optical and Electronic Interconnect PCB Manufacturing, its objectives, its consortium of three universities and ten companies and to describe the university research being carried out. This paper briefly reviews the motivation for developing novel polymer formulations, fabrication techniques, layout design rules and characterisation techniques for hybrid electronic and optical printed circuit boards (PCBs) using multimode polymer optical waveguide interconnects.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors are investigating a number of different fabrication techniques which they compare with each other and with modelled calculations of waveguide components. The fabrication techniques include photolithography, laser ablation, direct laser writing, embossing, extrusion and ink jet printing.

Findings

A number of design rules for polymer multimode waveguides have been found and published. Techniques for ink jetting polymer to print waveguides and laser ablation techniques have been developed. New formulations of polymer which cure faster for direct writing have also been developed.

Research limitations/implications

Further work is needed to thicken the ink jet printed polymer and to investigate side wall roughness of the ablated waveguides and development of new polymer formulations for dry film. Further research is also needed on construction of prototype system demonstrators.

Practical implications

The fabrication techniques being developed are designed to be transferred to industrial PCB manufacturers to enable them to make higher value optical PCBs. The design rules being discovered are being entered into commercial PCB layout software to aid designers of optical PCBs.

Originality/value

The paper is of interest to PCB manufacturers who wish to upgrade their processes to be able to manufacture optical PCBs. The university research is original and some has been published as shown in the publications in the reference list.

Keywords

Citation

Selviah, D.R., Aníbal Fernández, F., Papakonstantinou, I., Wang, K., Bagshiahi, H., Walker, A.C., McCarthy, A., Suyal, H., Hutt, D.A., Conway, P.P., Chappell, J., Zakariyah, S.S. and Milward, D. (2008), "Integrated optical and electronic interconnect printed circuit board manufacturing", Circuit World, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 21-26. https://doi.org/10.1108/03056120810874546

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited