Ryan D. Conk

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

James A. Lott, PhD


Micro-optical devices are vital components of conventional military data storage, sensor, and communication systems. Two types of micro-optical device arrays exist: individually addressable and matrix addressable. The matrix addressable array has a drastically reduced number of metal lines and can potentially be fabricated into large, dense (over 1k elements) arrays. Such arrays are expected to enable the development of extremely high bandwidth optical interconnect systems for future military applications including optical computing and short-haul fiber optical communication systems. I investigate new fabrication techniques for the assembly of dense matrix-addressed arrays of micro-optical devices such as vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers. Using a micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) foundry process, I design a test chip that consists of a variety of array configurations to explore possible assembly techniques. I also design a new photolithographic mask set based on assembly by flip-chip bonding and fluidic self-assembly techniques. Using my mask set, I perform basic fabrication studies and an analysis of metallization schemes for the realization of dense emitter and detector arrays. Finally, I develop and characterize three methods for array fabrication including a novel substrate trenching technique and involving the use of a spin-on polymer (poly-methyl-glutarimide or PMGI) that serves as an insulating and planarization layer between row and column metal lines.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number