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Proceedings Paper

Silicon photonic device applications using micro-opto-electro-mechanical index perturbation
Author(s): M. W. Pruessner; D. Park; Z. M. Awtry; C. L Panuski; D. A. Kozak; R. Mahon; T. H. Stievater; P. G. Goetz; W. S. Rabinovich
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Paper Abstract

Silicon photonics enables the development of optical components on a chip with the potential for large-scale optical integrated circuits that can be fabricated at the wafer-scale using foundries similar to those used in the electronics industry. Although silicon is a passive optical material with an indirect bandgap, reconfigurable devices have been demonstrated using thermo-optic effects (large phase shifts, but relatively slow with large power consumption) and carrier plasma dispersion effects (high-speed, but small phase shifts). We recently demonstrated a low-power approach for inducing large phase shifts (>2π) using a technique that we call micro-opto-electro-mechanical index perturbation (MOEM-IP). In this initial work we characterized silicon nitride waveguides in which the propagating optical mode’s evanescent field is vertically coupled to silicon nitride microbridges. This interaction leads to an effective index tuning that is a strong function of the waveguide-microbridge separation. We now extend our MOEM-IP approach to different configurations (i.e. in-plane coupling) and material systems (i.e. silicon-oninsulator). Mode perturbation simulations indicate that the MOEM-IP approach is widely applicable to many configurations and material systems enabling large effective index tuning (Δneffective>0.1) requiring microbridge displacements of only a few hundred nanometers. We also examine several device applications that take advantage of MOEM-IP. These include tunable optical filters using high-Q microring cavities and optical phased arrays that enable chip-scale beam steering in two-dimensions using low-power phase shifting enabled by MOEM-IP.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 February 2017
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 10108, Silicon Photonics XII, 1010808 (20 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2250888
Show Author Affiliations
M. W. Pruessner, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
D. Park, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Z. M. Awtry, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (United States)
C. L Panuski, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
U.S. Naval Academy (United States)
D. A. Kozak, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
R. Mahon, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
T. H. Stievater, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
P. G. Goetz, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
W. S. Rabinovich, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10108:
Silicon Photonics XII
Graham T. Reed; Andrew P. Knights, Editor(s)

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