Proton beam writing of passive waveguides in PMMA

T. C. Sum, A. A. Bettiol, H. L. Seng, I. Rajta, J. A. Van Kan, F. Watt

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

56 Citations (Scopus)


Symmetric y-branch buried channel waveguides in poly-methylmethacrylate (PMMA) were fabricated by proton beam writing using a focused sub-micron beam of 1.5 and 2.0 MeV protons with a dose ranging from 25 to 160 nC/mm2 (i.e. ∼1.6 × 1013 to 1.0 × 1014 particles/cm2) and beam currents of approximately 5-10 pA. The proton beam modifies the PMMA (i.e. changes the refractive index), forming buried channel waveguides near the end of range. The buried channel waveguides were end-coupled with monochromatic light (633 nm) and the transmitted intensity profiles were measured, indicating an intensity distribution of 0.45/0.55 from each branch. The surface compaction of the PMMA as a result of the irradiation for doses up to 160 nC/mm2 was also investigated. From these investigations, the optimal fabrication conditions for proton beam writing of PMMA were established. Waveguides of arbitrary design can be easily fabricated using proton beam writing, making the technique ideal for the rapid prototyping of optical circuits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-271
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2003
Event8th International Conference on Nuclear Microprobe Technology - Takasaki, Japan
Duration: Sep 8 2002Sep 13 2002


  • Buried channel waveguides
  • PMMA
  • Proton beam writing
  • Surface compaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

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