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Proceedings Paper

Bionics: precise color tuning by interference in nature and technology: applications in surface-micromachined 1.55-um vertical air-cavity filters
Author(s): Hartmut Hillmer; Juergen Daleiden; Cornelia Prott; Soeren Irmer; Friedhard Roemer; Edwin Ataro; Amer Tarraf; H. Ruehling; Markus Maniak; Martin Strassner
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Paper Abstract

Bionics transfers the principles of success of nature into natural science, engineering disciplines and applications. Often generation and detection of different spectral colors play key roles in communication in both, nature and technology. The latter one refers e.g. to dense wavelength division multiplex optical communication systems. This paper shows interesting parallels in tunable spectral light filtering by butterfly wings and by tunable optical filters used in optical communication systems. In both cases light interferes constructively and destructively with nano- and microstructures of appropriate shape, dimensions and materials. In this paper methodology is strongly emphasized. We demonstrate that tailored scaling allows the effectiveness of physical effects to be enhanced in nature and technology. These principles are rigorously applied in micromachined 1.55μm vertical-resonator-based filters, capable of wide, continuous, monotonic and kink-free tuning by a single control parameter. Tuning is achieved by mechanically actuating one or several membranes embedded by air-gaps in a vertical resonator including two ultra-highly reflective DBR mirrors. The layers of mirrors reveal a very strong refractive index contrast. Filters including InP/air-gap DBR's (3.5 periods) using GaInAs sacrificial layers reveal a continuous tuning of >9% of the absolute wavelength. Varying a reverse voltage (U=0 .. -3.2V) between the membranes, a tuning range up to 142nm was obtained due to electrostatic actuation. Appropriate miniaturization is shown to increase the mechanical stability and the effectiveness of spectral tuning by electrostatic actuation since the relative significance of the fundamental physical forces can be shifted considerably by appropriate scaling.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 January 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4983, MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems III, (21 January 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.477916
Show Author Affiliations
Hartmut Hillmer, Univ. Kassel (Germany)
Juergen Daleiden, Univ. Kassel (Germany)
Cornelia Prott, Univ. Kassel (Germany)
Soeren Irmer, Univ. Kassel (Germany)
Friedhard Roemer, Univ. Kassel (Germany)
Edwin Ataro, Univ. Kassel (Germany)
Amer Tarraf, Univ. Kassel (Germany)
H. Ruehling, Univ. Kassel (Germany)
Markus Maniak, Univ. Kassel (Germany)
Martin Strassner, Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4983:
MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems III
James H. Smith, Editor(s)

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