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Using 3D multiphoton lithography, a method of 3D printing, researchers from Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) demonstrated high-resolution 3D photonic structures capable of guiding light in a spiral and in an air-bridge configuration. The research has direct implications for photonic integrated circuits perceived as planar structures, that is, only able to guide light in a single plane. The technique overcomes the restriction of top-down exposure as a necessity for realizing PICs, enabling access to the functions availed by the third dimension.
The researchers additionally demonstrated low-loss 3D waveguide couplers with 1.6-dB fiber-waveguide coupling losses, and 3-dB bandwidth exceeding 60 nm. Current industry…