Optical Interconnection Technology

Photonic Packaging and Interconnection Technologies

Our core competence is development of innovative packaging systems comprising microelectronic, optical and microsystems components for tele- and datacom, lighting and sensors. Prototyping and hardware demonstrators are realized on basis of systematic simulation, customer specific design, and reliability and failure mechanisms investigations. This wide base serves the development of customer specific solutions and cutting-edge scientific development in photonic packaging and interconnection technologies leading to excellence in service provision.

Our customers come from sectors such as communications-, sensors-, medical- and laser-technology.  The group has a wide range of competencies based on the production of hybrid packages from polymer, glass, and semiconductor materials requiring high-precision, sub-micron placement and fixing with a high level of automation. 

Photonic System Assembly

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High-Precision Assembly of Micro-Optical Components

The OIT – Optical Interconnection Technology working group handles the automated assembly and alignment of micro-optical benches and chassis like circuit boards or ceramic and glass substrates. One specific application requiring absolute precision in assembly and gluing / soldering is the integration of lens arrays on laser diode bars with multiple emitters.

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Electrical-Optical Circuit Board

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Overview Electrical-Optical Circuit Board EOCB

  • Integrated Waveguides in Glass
  • Metallization on Glass
  • Laser structuring of Glass
  • Optical Characterization

Electro-optical circuit boards or EOCB can realize the immense potential of optical signal transmissions for circuit board and chip design. In telecommunications, the waveguides included in the optical layer can receive the signals from fiber conductors and navigate them to their destinations on the circuit board.

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Fiber Optic Interconnects and Sensors

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Optical fiber processing

Optical fibers with different geometries and spectral operation from UV to MIR can be processed to create radial-firing fibers, fused couplers, lensed fibers, bundles, fiber caps, 3D resonators, bended fibers, connections of fiber-to-chip & fiber-to-GRIN lens, etc. Customized CO2 laser processing systems, IR heaters, Vytran cleaver and Fujikura splicer are used as standard tools.

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Optical Sensors

Optical sensing has great potentials of high resolution, electromagnetic immunity, electrical isolation and wide dynamic range. Such features make optical sensors of great importance in applications such as telecommunications, aerospace, medicine, environmental and atmospheric monitoring.

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Photonics (Process and Product Development)

LED design – assembly – characterisation

From the beginning of solid state lighting IZM was involved in LED development. Assembly processes for LEDs with highest power and power density were developed as well for LEDs in harsh environment or just to make mass production more reliable but cost-effective, too.
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High-precision assembly of micro-optical components

The OIT – Optical Interconnection Technology working group handles the automated assembly and alignment of micro-optical benches and chassis like circuit boards or ceramic and glass substrates. more info

Production technology for optical systems (PrOpSys)

The automatic assembly of optical packages has accumulated needs compared to other industrial divisions. more info


Depending on the field of use optoelectronic components have very different requirements. Datacom lasers und photodiodes need to be single mode compatible and the accuracy of the assembly must be better than one micrometre to fulfil today’s requirements for data rates. 
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Photonics (Manufacturing & Prototyping)

Production of large-core couplers

In optical transmission technology it is often necessary to divide the signal to be transmitted into two or more components. For this purpose so-called X- or Y-couplers are used, which are produced using different processes. more info

Polymer assembly and structuring technologies for optical and fluidic applications

In its work on polymer-based optical packaging and interconnection technologies, Fraunhofer IZM investigates technologies and processes for constructing photonic assemblies by gluing and polymer fiber bonding and the structuring of polymers by hot stamping. more info

Fiber lensing

Besides the conventional fiber technologies like splicing, polishing and coating, glass fibers are provided with customer-specific fiber lenses for particular packaging requirements. more info

Waveguides made by ion exchange in thin glass foils

Optical waveguides can be integrated into glass substrates in a variety of ways. more info


The „FSM100 100P+ ARCMaster“ from Fujikura is a complex splicing tool. It can be used for cohesive fusing of two optical waveguides. more info

Large diameter cleaver

The fiber cleaving machine LDC200 by Vytran LLC (TM) is capable of precisely cleaving optical glass fibers with diameters in the range of typically 80 - 1250 µm. Cleaving is performed with a high repeatability by tension-scribing on the cladding. more info

Laser welding of glass fibers and glass capillaries

Laser welding for the manufacturing of firmly bonded, fiber optic or microfluidic glass/glass interconnections. more info

Insect Laser

Introducing Agriphotonics: Smart laser systems and AI-driven image recognition for a digital agriculture 4.0The “Insect Laser” project was set up to test a combined laser and image recognition technology developed at Fraunhofer IZM for pest control in grain stores.

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Next generation photonic biosensors


Label free photonic sensing platforms are revolutionizing Point of Care diagnostic methods, allowing high sensitivity and high compactness needed for fast and reliable detection of infectious and autoimmune diseases. PoC BoSens is a transnational project that contributes to the development of a portable device based on an array of highly sensitive photonic micro-resonators.

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Next generation photonic biosensors
© addDesign/Tobias Schirmer


The objective of the QuantumCascade project is the design of a multispectrum MIR light source as an easily integrated system component for use in applications that work with mid-infrared light. The system should be usable without requiring particular knowledge of the complex technology behind multispectrum light sources. This makes it available for commercial enterprises from other fields, e.g. medical technology, facilitating the development of innovative systems without the risk of having to design a stable and controlled light source of this type.

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© Fraunhofer IZM


    • Sputtering of metal coatings
    • Flexible material variation due to three simultaneously installed targets.
    • Panel size up to 610 mm x 610 mm 
  • Ahk Compact-Dip 
    • Photoresist dip-coater
    • Positive and negative photoresist 
    • Panel size up to 610 mm x 610 mm
    • down to 2µm thin layer
  • MDI – LD600G 
    • Laser system for glass cutting and structuring 
    • Hybrid laser machine (532 nm and 10.6 µm) 
    • Panel size up to 610 mm x 610 mm
  • Splicer (Fiberdiamter 50-2000µm)

  • Recoater for fibers
    • Diameter <280µm (possible other)
    • 4-50mm lenght
  • Alignment / Pick‘n‘place Machines 
    • Industrial production machines (ficonTEC AL 500 / 1000, 6 DOF-grippers + additional motion axes) 
    • Piezo hexapod lab systems (13 DOF with nm resolution) 
    • Finetech FINEPLACER Sigma (sub-µm placement accuracy in fully manual or semi-automatic configuration
    • Various Interconnection Technologies Glueing, Soldering, Silver Sintering
    • Bond Forces up to 500N
    • Temperature up to 300°C
  • UHV comined coating device (CREAMET 500 Cl3) 
    • Wafer/Panel size up to 200 x 200 mm² 
    • Ion source for pretreatment
    • 2 independent, combinable processing chambers
      • 1.  RF/DC sputtering for wolfram, nickel, chromium or others
      • 2. 6kW multipocket vaporizer
        • Metals / metal oxides (Au, Al, TiO2, Al2O3, etc.)
        • Layer thickness: several nm…300 nm with structure dimensions of several mm x mm
        • Layer homogeneity: ±3% auf 200 x 200 mm
  • Mikro-UHV vacuum bonder (Lava-X)
    • Hermetically sealed connections of glass substrates by laser-aided heating of glass solders
    • Incl. high-performance fibre laser
    • DProcessing in high vacuums (up to 10^-7mbar) or controlled atmospheres  
  • 3D glas printer (Lightfab) 
    • Sample sizes: 200 by 200 mm
    • Resolution: 1µm
    • Processing of 3D microstructres by SLE+KOH
    • Glass welding
    • 3D waveguide etching in glass
    • 2PP (3D laser-lithographie)

Measuring equipment

  • Shrinkage measurement station
    • Measuring thin adhesive layers (typ 100µm)
    • Shrinkage path resolution: 50nm
  • Near field refractometer
    • 1D and 2D profiles of refractive index
    • Measurement wavelength: 678 nm
    • n = 1.42 – 1.62, Resolution: 10-4
  • Prisme coupler (Metricon 2010/M)
    • Abbe refractometer and m-line spectroscope
    • n = 1.0 – 2.1, Resolution: 10^-4
    • Measurement wavelengths: 406, 633, 830, 1,550 nm
    • Layer thickness measurement (inverse WKB)
  • (Self-build) Waveguide characterization tool
    • Insertion, coupling and propagation losses (single- and multi-mode)
    • Sample size: 40 – 400 mm length, 10 – 300 mm width
    • Available wavelengths:
      • Single-Frequency-Laser: 635nm, 710 – 735nm, 780nm, 840 – 877nm,  
        1310nm and 1550nm
      • Broadband source: 410 – 2400 nm 
    • Mode field diameter (fiber and PIC)
      • IR-Camera (SWIR camera Goldeye G-130)
        • Spectral range of 400 nm – 1700 nm
      • Transversal offset method
  • Automatic waveguide coupling system
    • Semi-automatic optical chip- & panel-level tester (insertion losses, mode field diameter, coupling losses . . .)
    • Fast Precision Alignment and Assembly of fiber-to-chip
  • Luna OBR 4600 Optical Backscatter Reflectometer (OBR)
    • Optical frequency domain reflectometer
    • Measurement wavelength: 1,525 – 1,610 nm
    • Sampling resolution
      • 10 μm (30 m length)
      • 20 μm (70 m length)
      • 1 mm (2000 m length)
    • Backscatter-level sensitivity: -130 dB
    • RL dynamic range, 80 dB
    • IL dynamic range, 18 dB
  • General characterization
    • Keyence VHX 6000 – light microscope:
      • 2D & 3D visualization
    • Olympus LEXT OLS4000 – laser measuring microscope:
      • 3D nano meter level imaging
      • Z-resolution 2nm,  X/Y resolution 200nm
  • WITec alpha300RS 
    • Correlative Raman and Scanning Near-field Optical Microscopy (SNOM) 
    • High-resolution optical imaging beyond the diffraction limit (ca. 60 nm laterally)
  • Optical Spectrometer (200-800nm) and (190-1700nm) 
  • Optical Spectrum Analyzer (Yokogawa AQ6370D-22)
    • Wavelengths from 600 to 1700 nm
    • High wavelength precision: ±0.01 nm
    • High wavelength resolution: 0.02 nm
    • Wide dynamic range: 78 dB typ.
    • Wide input level range: +20 to -90 dBm
  • Nearfield Gonimeter (270-1300nm)
    • LEDs and small emitters
    • Resolution: 0.5°


  • Solidworks
  • Altium
  • Downstream CAM®
  • Ansys (u.a. Lumerical)
  • Comsol®
  • Zemax®


Online Expert Session: Structured Glass for Electronic and Photonic Packaging

Dr.-Ing. Henning Schröder