K. Bischoff
S. Kefer
Al. Wienke
L. Overmeyer
S. Kaierle
C. Esen
R. Hellmann

Integration of Bragg gratings in aerosol-jetted polymer optical waveguides for strain monitoring capabilities

Optics Letters
Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (reviewed)
We demonstrate and discuss the integration of Bragg gratings in aerosol-jetted polymer optical waveguides, produced in the optical assembly and connection technology for component-integrated bus systems (OPTAVER) process. By using a femtosecond laser and adaptive beam shaping, an elliptical focal voxel generates different types of single pulse modification by nonlinear absorption in the waveguide material, which are arranged periodically to form Bragg gratings. Integration of a single grating structure or, alternatively, an array of Bragg grating structures in the multimode waveguide yields a pronounced reflection signal with typical multimodal properties, i.e., a number of reflection peaks with non-Gaussian shapes. However, the main wavelength of reflection, located around 1555 nm, is evaluable by means of an appropriate smoothing algorithm. When loaded by mechanical bending, a pronounced Bragg wavelength shift of this reflected peak up to 160 pm is detected. This demonstrates that the additively manufactured waveguides can be used not only for signal transmission but also as a sensor.