25.8 Gb/s Submillimeter Optical Data Link Module for Smart Catheters

Jian Li, Chenhui Li, Vincent Henneken, Marcus Louwerse, Jeannet Van Rens, Paul Dijkstra, Oded Raz, Ronald Dekker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The digitization of smart catheters will dramatically increase the demand for reliable and high data transmission in the distal tips. Optical fiber is a good candidate to provide high-speed data transmission. However, the extremely small size of the smart catheter tip, with less than a few millimeters in diameter, hampers the integration of optical fiber connections in the catheter tip. Our work presents a stand-alone optical data link module (ODLM) with a dimension of 240 μm × 280 μm × 420 μm for use in a 1 mm diameter intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) smart catheter. The fabrication of the ODLM is based on the Flex-to-Rigid (F2R) integration technology. In the ODLM, the flexible interconnects reroute the electrical contacts of the flip-chipped vertical-cavity sur-face-emitting laser (VCSEL) to the side of the device. This design enables the ODLM to be mounted on a flex-PCB and fit into a 200-300 μm gap in the IVUS catheter tip. An optical fiber that runs parallel to the catheter shaft is self-aligned to a commercially available VCSEL by inserting it into the through-silicon hole (TSH) of the ODLM. Clear eye diagrams prove the stand-alone ODLM can transmit 25.8 Gb/s, 231-1 Pseudo-Random Binary Sequence (PRBS) when driven through a high-speed bias-tee. The BER test indicates that error-free operation can be achieved at an optical output of around -4 dBm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2456-2464
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Catheters
  • Contacts
  • Flex-to-Rigid
  • Microassembly
  • Microfabrication
  • Optical device fabrication
  • Optical fibers
  • Optical interconnections
  • Optical transmitters
  • Silicon
  • Smart catheters
  • Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers


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