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Proceedings Paper

Design and fabrication of multiple airgap-based visible filters
Author(s): M. Ghaderi; R. F. Wolffenbuttel
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Paper Abstract

The efficiency of a Bragg reflector design for implementation in optical resonators is highly dependent on the ratio between the high-index material and the low-index material used for the quarter-wavelength (QWOT) layers. A higher contrast implies that fewer layers are required to achieve a specified spectral selectivity over a wider spectral band. In turn, the reduced total thickness of the filter stack reduces the effect of optical absorption in the layers. The research presented here focuses on implementation of filters on top of silicon detectors that are already fabricated in a CMOS process. This implies that the constraints of process compatibility, such as the materials to be used, process temperature and cleanroom reentrance related to contamination, need to be considered. Silicon-dioxide is often used in CMOS-compatible designs, which has an index of refraction n~1.5, thus limiting nHi/nLo to about 2. This value can be improved by 50% when using air-films as the low-n material. Surface micromachining is used for the fabrication of such mirrors. Multiple layers of Si and SiO2 were alternatingly deposited, and subsequently the Si layers are selectively removed in a sacrificial etch. The width of the λ/4 air-gaps is about 100 nm, which is narrower as compared to the typical layer thickness that is used in surface micromachining for conventional MEMS applications. Moreover, a demanding optical design requires more layers than typically used in a conventional MEMS device. Since the number of stacked layers is significantly higher as compared to the conventional MEMS, fabricating such filters is a challenge. However, unlike a conventional MEMS, electrical contacting to the structural layers is not required in optical filter application, which, eases the fabrication of such filters. This paper presents the design of several 4-layer structures for use in the visible spectral range, along with the fabrication sequence and preliminary measurement results.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 May 2014
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9130, Micro-Optics 2014, 913005 (2 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2052554
Show Author Affiliations
M. Ghaderi, Technische Univ. Delft (Netherlands)
R. F. Wolffenbuttel, Technische Univ. Delft (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9130:
Micro-Optics 2014
Hugo Thienpont; Jürgen Mohr; Hans Zappe; Hirochika Nakajima, Editor(s)

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