[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 10, No. 2 (2003) 89-95]
© 2003 The Optical Society of Japan

Design and Fabrication of Microlens Array for Near-Field Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser Parallel Optical Head

Kazuma KURIHARA1,2,*, Ivan D. NIKOLOV1,3, Satoshi MITSUGI1, Kenzo NANRI2 and Kenya GOTO1,2

1Department of Information and Communication Technology, Tokai University, Nishino 317, Numazu, Shizuoka 410-0395, Japan
2Department of Physics, School of Science, Tokai University, 1117 Kita-Kaname, Hiratsuka, Kanagawa 259-1292, Japan
3Department of Optics and Spectroscopy, Faculty of Physics, University of Sofia, 5 J. Bourchier Blvd., Sofia BG-1164, Bulgaria

(Received October 30, 2002; Accepted December 17, 2002)

A GaP microlens for collecting laser light was developed in the tip of a near-field probe. It is important to realize a near-field optical probe head with high throughput and a small spot size. The design and fabrication results of the GaP microlens array are described. The most suitable GaP microlens with a probe was calculated as having a 10 μm radius using the two-dimensional finite difference time domain (2-D FDTD) method. The full width half maximum (FWHM) spot size variation and optical power density tolerance were calculated as 157 nm ± 5 nm and 7%, respectively. A spherical GaP microlens was fabricated with a radius of 10 μm by controlling the Cl2/Ar gas mixture ratio. The difference between the theoretical spherical shape and the fabricated GaP microlens was evaluated as 40 nm at peak to valley. The FWHM spot size and optical throughput of the fabricated microlens were measured as 520 nm and 63%, respectively. The microlens was the same as a theoretical lens with a 10 μm radius. The micron-lens array fabrication process for a near-field optical head was demonstrated in this experiment.

Key words: near-field optical memory, design of microlens, high-density optical recording, GaP microlens, FDTD, VCSEL, VCSEL integration

*E-mail address: kazuma@goto.fc.u-tokai.ac.jp