Transfer Printing – Enabling Chip-Based Optical Systems

Researchers have developed a pick-and-place integration process, generally referred to as transfer printing, for thin-film devices to allow local hybrid materials integration on host PICs. The method provides the freedom to carry out multiple printing processes on a single chip.

The method relies on transferring membrane devices or coupons of material with dimensions in the 1 – 103 micron range and thickness from hundreds of nanometers to a few microns. Subsequently, researchers must detach these membranes from their native substrate using a soft polymer stamp and then deposit them onto the receiver substrate.

The transfer printing process allows the dense integration of multiple devices, from different material platforms, within a chip footprint comparable to the device size. The researchers have demonstrated the method for devices with two characteristic length scales, micro-disk resonators with diameters in the few microns range, and semiconductor nanowire lasers (cross-sectional diameters – a few hundred nanometers, major axis length – a few micrometers).

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