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Thermoplastic Solutions for Opto-Electronics Packaging
Keywords: thermoplastic optics, fresnel lens, micro optics
Thermoplastic injection molding is a technology that has yet to be fully utilized by the optoelectronics packaging industry. Thermoplastic components have been used in opto-electronics packaging for years, namely in high volume telecommunications devices such as fiber optic transceivers. We have shown in the past that some engineered thermoplastic resins allow for producing integrated optics - mechanical housing with lens molded in - while maintaining micron-level tolerances. This is a requirement in many fiber optic devices. Injection molding is a cost efficient method for producing multiple optics on the same part. Spherical and flat optics can be produced, reflective coatings can be applied. Micro sized optics (.250mm diameter) are possible. Applications for thermoplastic optics are growing, they include fiber optic transceivers, medical sensors, LED lenses, medical diagnostic imaging catheters, night vision light guides, helmet-mounted viewer headsets, optical sensors. We have found that diamond turning - polishing technique for tooling inserts - is critical for best surface finish in the mold. A diamond turning process can only work on non-ferrous metals. We have developed a system for low volume development and high volume production tooling. We have made several key acquisitions and facility upgrades to improve our capability to deliver thermoplastic-based solutions to packaging-related problems typically associated with high cost, high weight materials such as glass, ceramic and kovar. In this paper we present a variety of examples of manufacturing methods common to the injection molding industry, but found within one technology company that has serviced the optoelectronics packaging industry for years.
Scot MacGillivray, Business Development Manager
Matrix Incorporated
East Providence, RI

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