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Proceedings Paper

A multimode thermo-optic beam steering switch
Author(s): Jonathan Rogers; Changbao Ma; Makarand Paranjape; Edward Van Keuren
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Paper Abstract

Thermooptic switches are viable options for rapidly and reliably switching and routing optical signals in planar lightwave circuits. We present modeling and fabrication of a thermooptic switch made of the polymer SU-8, an epoxy resin commonly used as a MEMS structural material. SU-8 is a good candidate material for use in planar waveguides due to its high refractive index, good transmission properties in the visible and infrared, and excellent thermal and mechanical stability. Furthermore, it has great advantages in fabrication since it is used as a negative photoresist, and so can be patterned directly using photolithography. Light is guided by a refractive index gradient generated by embedded MEMS microheaters, which activate the thermal nonlinearity of the polymer. The thermooptic change in refractive index imparts an inhomogeneous phase shift to the beam in the waveguide, which guides the input into one of two or more outputs. The switch design and operation parameters have been optimized using simulations of the thermal profile using finite element modeling and of the optical propagation using the beam propagation method.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 October 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6368, Optoelectronic Devices: Physics, Fabrication, and Application III, 636815 (13 October 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.686226
Show Author Affiliations
Jonathan Rogers, Georgetown Univ. (United States)
Changbao Ma, Georgetown Univ. (United States)
Makarand Paranjape, Georgetown Univ. (United States)
Edward Van Keuren, Georgetown Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6368:
Optoelectronic Devices: Physics, Fabrication, and Application III
Joachim Piprek; Jian Jim Wang, Editor(s)

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