Lightwave Logic takes further steps toward polymer productization

Jan. 6, 2022

Lightwave Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ: LWLG), which has been working on the application of electro-optic polymers to optical communications for more than a decade, has announced two further steps towards the realization of commercial polymer-based modulators. The company has revealed test success for its optical grating couplers as well as the publication by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) of a patent covering electro-optic chromophores designed to aid the performance of Lightwave Logic’s polymer-based approach.

The optical grating couplers will be integrated with the polymer-based modulators to enable efficient light coupling. The couplers will form part of a design tool kit meant to simplify foundry processes, as well as process development kits (PDKs) to help enable integration of the polymer technology with silicon photonics. The PDK also will enable silicon foundry partners to fabricate the modulator and optical grating coupler either simultaneously or in a single fab run, says Lightwave Logic.

"We are making significant internal efforts to further build out the information needed for a robust PDK for our foundry partners, enabling an expedited commercialization process through simplified manufacturing. The addition of another silicon photonic tool such as the optical grating coupler into our portfolio of design elements is very important as we optimize the performance of our high-speed, low-power modulators,” commented Dr. Michael Lebby, Lightwave Logic’s CEO. "We are working on additional design tool kit components to further simplify this process for our foundry partners and look forward to providing further updates.”

Electro-optic polymer patent

Meanwhile, the technology described in patent application 20210405504A1, Nonlinear Optical Chromophores Having a Diamondoid Group Attached Thereto, Methods of Preparing the Same, and Uses Thereof, will significantly improve the stability and performance of the company's electro-optic polymers, Lightwave Logic asserts. Polymers that leverage the technology will enable electro-optical modulators that could drive data rates 2X-3X faster and with 2X-3X lower power than existing alternatives, the company believes.

As described in the patent, the chromophores have one or more diamondiod molecular groups attached to them. With such chromophores dispersed within the host polymer matrix, the electro-optic materials provide improved macroscopic electro-optic properties as well as increased poling efficiency, loading, and stability after poling.

"In technical terms, this chromophore is important because it represents a class of materials that has extraordinary electro-optic properties such as high poling efficiency and high r33,” Lebby explained. “Importantly for silicon foundry applications, it is a high Tg material that exhibits ultra-high temporal stability at high chromophore loading in the bulk material, all while maintaining other essential properties like solubility and compatibility with many types of polymers. This is due to its unique structural components.

"The elegance of this materials chemistry design is perfect for integrated photonics that can be fabricated in large silicon foundries. The impact of being able to optimize our designs is clear: the potential to not only to increase data flow and data traffic on the internet, but to create energy-efficient solutions that help to support the increasingly data-heavy lifestyle of today's consumer. This exciting development positions us well as we seek to grow our relationships with partners and potential customers in 2022," concluded Lebby.

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