High-Speed Data Transmission over Flexible Multimode Polymer Waveguides Under Flexure

Nikolaos Bamiedakis, Fengyuan Shi, Daping Chu, Richard V. Penty, Ian H. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (SciVal)


Polymer multimode waveguides on flexible substrates enable the formation of bendable low-cost optical interconnects that can be deployed in a wide range of applications. However, the highly-multimoded nature of such guides in combination with the stress and mode mixing induced due to sample bending raise important concerns about the effect that sample flexure has on their bandwidth performance and potential to support high-speed data transmission. In this work therefore, we present data transmission studies on a 1 m long flexible spiral waveguide when flexure is applied. The flexible polymer sample is bent 180° around a cylindrical mandrel and the loss and frequency response of the waveguide are obtained for radii of curvature down to 4 mm and are compared with the performance obtained when no flexure is applied. The BER performance of the respective optical link is also recorded at data rates up to 40 Gb/s. A flat frequency response up to at least 30 GHz is demonstrated for all bending radii applied and error-free (BER<10-12) data transmission is achieved for all data rates studied up to 40 Gb/s. The results clearly demonstrate that sample flexing does not result in any significant transmission impairments in such links and highlight the strong potential of this technology for use in high-speed board-level interconnections.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Photonics Technology Letters
Issue number14
Early online date11 Jun 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jun 2018


  • board-level communications
  • flexible substrates
  • multimode waveguides
  • optical communications
  • optical interconnects
  • polymer waveguides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'High-Speed Data Transmission over Flexible Multimode Polymer Waveguides Under Flexure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this