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Non-contact printing of optical waveguides using capillary bridges
Non-contact printing methods such as inkjet, electro hydrodynamic, and aerosol printing have attracted attention for their precise deposition of functional materials that are needed in printed electronics, optoelectronics, photonics, biotechnology, and microfluidics. In this article, we demonstrate printing of tapered optical waveguides with losses of 0.61 and/- 0.26 dB/cm, with the best performing structure achieving 0.19 dB/cm. Such continuous features are indispensable for successfully printing functional patterns, but they are often corrupted by capillary forces. The proposed inkjet printing method uses these forces to align liquid bridges into continuous features, enabling the printing of smooth lines on substrates with arbitrary contact angles. (C) 2018 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement

Authors: P. M. Theiler, F. Lutolf, and R. Ferrini

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