Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lab, Industry Team Up To Create Enhanced Optical Network Elements

Date:
June 29, 2001
Source:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Summary:
X-rays produced by the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will play a key role in enabling AXSUN Technologies to fabricate advanced micro-electromechanical structures (MEMS) used in the assembly of integrated photonic products.

BERKELEY, CA — X-rays produced by the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will play a key role in enabling AXSUN Technologies to fabricate advanced micro-electromechanical structures (MEMS) used in the assembly of integrated photonic products.

The critical first step of creating miniature molds for micro-structure components takes place in a beamline at the ALS, one of the world's leading producers of soft X-rays. The beamline was built for use by AXSUN Technologies, of Billerica, Mass., and was dedicated today by the laboratory and AXSUN officials. It marks the first time that a private company has paid for an entire ALS beamline.

"It’s a win-win for both parties, and illustrates the great value of public-private partnerships," said Charles Shank, Director of Berkeley Lab. "The output of this beamline will help address one of our nation’s biggest telecommunications challenges, and at the same time, AXSUN’s support will increase our capacity to deliver on other scientific missions."

Dale Flanders, President and CEO of AXSUN, said, "AXSUN has been working with the Berkeley Lab since before the company’s founding in 1999, and we are pleased to be extending our partnership to include the operation of an AXSUN beamline. We believe that the relationship between the Berkeley Lab and AXSUN will serve as a model for future commercialization of dual use technology."

AXSUN, which has been in operations since 1999 and opened a West Coast manufacturing branch in Livermore this year, is a developer and manufacturer of photonic subsystems for optical networking. Their products address a major obstacle in optimizing the performance of fiber-optic networks that power the Internet: specifically to offer complex, integrated subsystems that occupy smaller footprints than today’s bulkier, discrete versions.

AXSUN’s products, such as its optical performance monitor, are designed to manage optical networks through the integration of advanced MEMS devices with a wide range of supporting optical functions. AXSUN’s subsystem products are one-tenth the size of those built by hand, using bulk optics methods. The result is higher levels of performance and functional density while consuming less power and circuit board space.

Key to this process is the production of micro-alignment structures used to mount optical elements such as the lenses to the optical equivalent of a circuit board. That’s where the Advanced Light Source beamline comes in.

The ALS has proven to be the ideal vehicle for enabling a process called LIGA, a technology developed in Germany that uses X-ray lithography instead of conventional metal machining to create tiny metal structures with sub-micron precision. The ALS X-rays are exposed to an acrylic sheet, which is bonded to a silicon wafer containing a mask of the LIGA structures. After the X-rays hit the mask, the acrylic is etched in a manner that creates precise molds of micro-alignment structures. Dale Boehme, Director of LIGA Technology for AXSUN, said, "The ALS is a great synchrotron source for performing LIGA X-ray exposures because it provides maximum power radiated at energies ideal for exposing these molds."

The exposed acrylic wafers will be sent to AXSUN’s Livermore foundry, where they will be chemically processed, electroplated, lapped and polished, and released from the substrate. This wafer scale process creates thousands of alignment structures on a single 3-inch wafer. The structures are then assembled into the photonic platforms.

The 14,000-square-foot office and manufacturing facility at 7693 Longard Road in East Livermore opened in March, and will serve as AXSUN’s West Coast headquarters and LIGA fabrication hub. AXSUN executed a licensing agreement last year for certain LIGA process technology with Sandia National Laboratory, another DOE facility in Livermore, and is continuing to work with Sandia as a research and development partner.

Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source is a national user facility that generates intense light for scientific and technological research. As the world’s brightest source of ultraviolet and soft X-ray beams -- and the world’s premiere third-generation synchrotron light source in its energy range -- the ALS welcomes researchers from universities, industries, and government laboratories around the world. The U.S Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences funds it.

Contributing to the construction of the AXSUN beamline at Berkeley Lab, under the technical direction of Howard Padmore and project management of Jim Krupnick, were William Thur and Sergio Gavidia. Padmore said, "The path to an industrial LIGA facility at ALS started in 1994 with the programs on two existing time-shared beamlines. The use of LIGA for a dedicated industrial production facility is something that the ALS management strongly backed over the years. It is particularly satisfying to see this project come to fruition working with Dale Boehme at AXSUN, who was responsible for much of this early development work."

Berkeley Lab is an unclassified scientific research laboratory managed by the University of California for the Department of Energy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "Lab, Industry Team Up To Create Enhanced Optical Network Elements." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010619072805.htm>.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (2001, June 29). Lab, Industry Team Up To Create Enhanced Optical Network Elements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010619072805.htm
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "Lab, Industry Team Up To Create Enhanced Optical Network Elements." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010619072805.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins