Gould manufactures planar light wave circuits (PLC) components fully in-house in a clean room environment at our Millersville, Maryland facility, through an Ion-Exchange-based process providing superior dependability and great performance.
Gould’s Planar Technology: Process and Facility for Ion-Exchange Based Planar Light wave Circuits (PLC)
Description of Gould’s Planar Technology
Through our proprietary process, Gould delivers high quality planar splitters/couplers with low insertion loss, ultra low polarization dependent loss (PDL) and excellent uniformity.
Our PLC chips are made of proprietary glass and processed through the following steps:
Using a photo lithographic process, in the controlled environment of our clean room, the pattern of 1xN or 2xN splitters/couplers is transferred from a photo mask onto an intermediate layer on each glass wafer, creating windows for Ion-Exchange.
Then, during our multiple-tier Ion-exchange, the actual waveguides are created in the glass. The cross-section of the obtained waveguides matches that of standard fibers for a wide range of wavelengths. Each chip is tested for optical performance parameters, such as insertion loss, uniformity, polarization dependant loss, wavelength dependant loss etc. The packaging is then finished, in accordance with customer specification. A further set of tests is performed to ensure the optical performance of the packaged planar product.