Manufacturing & Prototyping

Two-Photon Polymerization for Optical Connections

Fraunhofer IZM continues to expand its capabilities in the area of research into other materials for optical connections, such as polymers. In combination with a commercial laser-assisted system, polymer can be used to create custom and precise optical connections and beam-shaping elements for photonic integrated circuits (PICs) and optical fibers. Applications such as optical communications, biosensing and quantum technologies can be addressed with this scalable and low-loss coupling technology.

Two-Photon Polymerization (TPP) is a revolutionary technology that enables direct 3D printing of free-form photonic wire bonds (PWB) and micro-optics at the facet of PICs and fibers. TPP process consists of focusing ultrashort laser pulses into the volume of a photosensitive polymer. Such pulses cause two-photon absorption and subsequent polymerization. After localized illumination within the polymer volume and subsequent washing out, the polymerized material remains, resulting in the desired structure.

Optical connections through single-mode PWB permits hybrid integration of PIC manufactured with different platforms, including InP, SOI, SiN, LiNbO3 and glass. PIC to PIC, Laser to PIC, Laser to Fiber und PIC to fiber coupling configurations can be designed with expected optical losses < 2dB at 1550 nm. Micro-optics to match the mode field diameter of the PICs and the fibers can be developed with pitches of 127 mm and 250 mm, operating at wavelengths of 1310 nm and 1550 nm. If required, other wavelengths can be investigated as well.


  • Various 3D shapes for mode field diameter matching from 2 λ to 10 µm
  • Suitable for processing 10” wafer
  • Sample positioning resolution of < 20 nm
  • Position accuracy (laser structuring) of <= 50 nm
  • Writing field of 390 µm x 340 µm
TPP-Drucker: Vanguard SONATA 1000
© Fraunhofer IZM | Volker Mai
TPP-Printer: Vanguard SONATA 1000

Manufacturing & Prototyping

Adhesive-free coupling of glass fibers and capillaries by laser welding

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


Manufacturing & Prototyping

Laser processing of glass

At the Fraunhofer IZM glass can be processed in a contactless manner using industrial, laser-assisted systems. Our solutions ensure precise and reproducible processing of glass for research and real-world applications. Depending on the specific application, the processes described below can be combined with each other in various ways.


Key Research Areas

Photonic packaging