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Proceedings Paper

Method for high-power illumination of silicon for optically configurable microwave circuits
Author(s): Preston P. Young; Robert Magnusson; Theresa A. Maldonado; Timothy R. Holzheimer
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Paper Abstract

Photoexcited intrinsic silicon 'pixels' are applied as coupling elements between microstrip lines. Under proper illumination, the free-carrier concentration of the silicon increases sufficiently to pass a microwave signal across the pixels. Illumination is accomplished through the use of multimode fiber coupling between high-power laser diodes and multimode prismatic-waveguide output couplers. The prismatic couplers are fabricated on the endfaces of thick glass slab waveguides to direct the light onto the silicon pixel. This configuration delivers up to approximately 75% of the total laser diode light to the prism-waveguide couplers and these couplers, in turn, deliver up to approximately 70% of the input light to the silicon pixels. The prismatic waveguide couplers provide illumination uniformity within approximately ± 15% over the length of a 1mm X 5mm pixel. As a simple in-line coupler between microstrip lines, the fully illuminated pixel allowed an increase in transmitted signal of > 5dB over most of the range from 0.5GHz to 15GHz with > 10dB obtained over intermediate ranges. A silicon pixel tunable transmission line termination exhibits impedance matching at increasing wavelengths by successive illumination of multiple pixels, effectively increasing the length of the termination. This is illustrated by shifts in the resonant frequencies of the device reflection characteristics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 September 2002
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4768, Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization V, (4 September 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.482179
Show Author Affiliations
Preston P. Young, Univ. of Texas at Arlington (United States)
Robert Magnusson, Univ. of Connecticut (United States)
Theresa A. Maldonado, Univ. of Texas at Arlington (United States)
Timothy R. Holzheimer, Raytheon Co. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4768:
Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization V
Jose M. Sasian; R. John Koshel, Editor(s)

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