New inorganic-organic hybrid polymers (ORMOCER®s) for integrated optical and opto-electronic devices were synthesized by sol-gel processing of functionalized alkoxysilanes. Process parameters (catalyst, temperature etc.) were optimized to achieve highly reproducible low cost materials which are photopatternable even in higher layer thickness (presently 100 μm within one step).
The resulting materials have low optical losses at the most important wavelengths for telecommunications in the NIR range (0.3 dB/cm at 1320 nm, 0.6 dB/cm at 1550 nm) and a variety of additional advantageous properties for optical interconnection technology and production of opto-electronic devices: good wetting and adhesion on various substrates (e.g. glass, silicon and several polymers), low processing temperatures (post-bake at 150°C) and high thermal stability (decomposition at 270°C) compared to alternative opto-polymers for NIR applications. A further advantage is a tunable refractive index, which can be achieved by mixing different resins.