Optical microsystems are increasingly present in modern electronic assemblies. With the constant miniaturization of technology, it is becoming vital to understand the issues related to creating and implementing optical microsystems. Our expertise concerns the design and development of optical microsystems. Our objective is to offer support to companies based on our expertise in design and prototyping (manufacture and assembly) of optical microsystems in four technological categories: micromachining, micromanufacturing, microprinting and microassembly.

We have the necessary expertise and equipment for designing, manufacturing and characterizing several optical, optomechanical and optoelectronic microsystems. Optech also has a class-10,000 cleanroom. The room contains a range of equipment useful for microsystems. The microsystem expertise that we have acquired complements our three other areas of expertise. The ability to design and manufacture optical microsystems is often used for miniaturizing optical sensors with integrated imaging and illumination elements that are used in metrology.

Micromachining

We have carried out several laser micromachining projects with materials that are difficult to machine using conventional methods, including glass and ceramics. We are experts in CO2 laser micromachining. Our applied research efforts are aimed at micromachining of microfluidic and optofluidic systems.

 Micromanufacturing

Our expertise in micromanufacturing concerns the design of micro-optics and micro-optomechanical elements. We can design and prototype microlenses and micromechanical templates used for optical assembly. Using our diamond turning lathe, we can prototype plastic microlenses, and our partners have the facilities for high-volume reproduction (using photolithography) of various optical components (microlenses, micromirrors, microprisms, etc.).

 Microprinting

The integration of glass substrate devices or special fibre optic packaging requires innovative approaches to compensate for the limitations of conventional approaches such as photolithography. We are working on applied research projects to consolidate our expertise in functional ink printing. We have an aerosol jet printer that can apply several types of nanoparticle-based functional inks. We are experts in applying and packaging silver- or gold-based circuits on glass or 3D substrate. Our expertise in micro printing enables us to offer special configurations of gold electrodes printed on optical elements or glass substrates for biomedical applications.

Microassembly

Microsystems are assembled with tolerances of a few micrometers, and their elements are usually smaller than a few hundredths of a micrometer. With our microassembly expertise we have the specialized equipment and thorough knowledge of design methods to suggest to our partners the right processes, sealants, adhesives and assembly practices for microsystems.

We also develop techniques and systems for automating assembly processes. At the same time, our expertise includes process development and control. Based on many years of experience in the field and a large number of completed projects, we can help you in developing your products and product assembly processes that integrate microsystems. Optech recently designed a proprietary system for developing processes and acquired a Ficontec commercial system for automated assembly. We anticipate using this equipment to offer partner companies automated processes for assembling optical microsystems.