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Proceedings Paper

Optical switch based on thermocapillarity
Author(s): Tomomi Sakata; Mitsuhiro Makihara; Hiroyoshi Togo; Fusao Shimokawa; Kazumasa Kaneko
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Paper Abstract

Space-division optical switches are essential for the protection, optical cross-connects (OXCs), and optical add/drop multiplexers (OADMs) needed in future fiber-optic communication networks. For applications in these areas, we proposed a thermocapillarity switch called oil-latching interfacial-tension variation effect (OLIVE) switch. An OLIVE switch is a micro-mechanical optical switch fabricated on planar lightwave circuits (PLC) using micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. It consists of a crossing waveguide that has a groove at each crossing point and a pair of microheaters. The groove is partially filled with the refractive-index-matching liquid, and optical signals are switched according to the liquid's position in the groove, i.e., whether it is passing straight through the groove or reflecting at the sidewall of the groove. The liquid is driven by thermocapillarity and latched by capillarity. Using the total internal reflection to switch the optical path, the OLIVE switch exhibits excellent optical characteristics, such as high transparency (insertion loss: < 2 dB), high extinction ratio (> 50 dB), and low crosstalk (< -50 dB). Moreover, since this switch has a simple structure and bi-stability, it has wide variety of applications in wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) networks.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 November 2001
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4534, Optoelectronic and Wireless Data Management, Processing, Storage, and Retrieval, (8 November 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.448000
Show Author Affiliations
Tomomi Sakata, NTT Telecommunications Energy Labs. (Japan)
Mitsuhiro Makihara, NTT Telecommunications Energy Labs. (Japan)
Hiroyoshi Togo, NTT Telecommunications Energy Labs. (Japan)
Fusao Shimokawa, NTT Telecommunications Energy Labs. (Japan)
Kazumasa Kaneko, NTT Telecommunications Energy Labs. (Japan)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4534:
Optoelectronic and Wireless Data Management, Processing, Storage, and Retrieval
Robert Raymond; Pradip K. Srimani; Renjeng Su; Carl W. Wilmsen, Editor(s)

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