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MEMS Optical Acoustic Sensors in Laminates
Keywords: Optical, MEMS, Acoustic
We introduce a MEMS optical acoustic sensor (OAS) fabricated out of novel optics grade polymeric laminates that is embedded within PCB layers. Free-standing cantilever waveguides translate acoustic signals into optical signals with varying frequency response, directionality and dynamic range. Traditional optical components are integrated within the circuit board design and utilize the OAS design as a sensor and median for data transfer. The process of fabricating the laminate MEMS OAS extends to chip-to-chip optical interconnects and provides EMI-free operation. Cantilever-based MEMS OAS provides the benefits of broad-band response, directionality and dynamic range. Different configurations in length will resonate at their respective frequency (1-100 kHz), resulting in an optical coupling and decoupling for frequency detection. We have tested inline optical arrays to produce over 50dB dynamic range over a wide frequency band. Laminate manufacturing techniques allows new fabrication methods and design flexibility. 3-D fabrications of MEMS OAS as well as 3-D board assembly with board-to-board optical interconnects are possible using new materials and fabrication methods. Traditional optical components such as waveguides, gratings and optical lenses are micromachined on the polymeric layers, such as polyester and fluoropolymers, using an ArF excimer laser cutting system. The optics grade polymer films are first cut at a higher-power followed by a low-power ablation cycle, ensuring optics quality surfaces. Printed circuitry and other laminate layers form cladding and light-sealing package around the optical and MEMS components creating a fully embedded package.
Jonas Tsai, Student
University of California Irvine
Irvine, CA
USA


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