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PHASTFLEX proposes the development of a fully automated, high precision, cost-effective assembly technology for next generation hybrid photonic packages.


Current assembly and packaging technology for PICs leads to custom-engineered solutions; packaging is at least an order of magnitude more expensive than the photonic chips themselves, which have become more readily available through generic platform technology, and this is a major bottle-neck to market penetration.

The most demanding assembly task for multi-port PICs is the high-precision (±0.1μm) alignment and fixing of optical waveguides 


PHASTFlex proposes an innovative solution, in which InP PICs with active optical functions will be combined with passive dielectric waveguide TriPleX PICs bonded onto an LTCC (ceramic) carrier.  In the PHASTFlex concept the waveguides in the TriPleX PIC are released during fabrication to make them movable.  Actuators and fixing functions, integrated in the same TriPleX PIC, place and fix the flexible waveguides in the optimal position to achieve peak out-coupled power from the InP PIC.  A second feature of the TriPleX chip is mode expansion to match fibre mode size at the optical I/O.

The project aims to develop a complete assembly process and the required tooling to implement this concept, including pre-assembly using eutectic bonding and automated handling, with on-chip micro-fabricated fine-alignment and fixing functions.


Proof of the concept will be given by assembly of prototypes for end-user applications.  Cost reduction through the use of high volume compatible, automated assembly methods is important to achieve the target of low cost high performance photonic packages.


Penetration of low cost photonic circuits into multiple, new application areas for example in fibre based sensing and structural health monitoring, in datacomms, and metrology.

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