Translational MEMS Platform for Planar Optical Switching Fabrics.
ABSTRACT: While 3-D microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) allow switching between a large number of ports in optical telecommunication networks, the development of such systems often suffers from design, fabrication and packaging constraints due to the complex structures, the wafer bonding processes involved, and the tight alignment tolerances between different components. In this work, we present a 2-D translational MEMS platform capable of highly efficient planar optical switching through integration with silicon nitride (SiN) based optical waveguides. The discrete lateral displacement provided by simple parallel plate actuators on opposite sides of the central platform enables switching between different input and output waveguides. The proposed structure can displace the central platform by 3.37 µm in two directions at an actuation voltage of 65 V. Additionally, the parallel plate actuator designed for closing completely the 4.26 µm air gap between the fixed and moving waveguides operates at just 50 V. Eigenmode expansion analysis shows over 99% butt-coupling efficiency the between the SiN waveguides when the gap is closed. Also, 2.5 finite-difference time-domain analysis demonstrates zero cross talk between two parallel SiN waveguides across the length of the platform for a 3.5 µm separation between adjacent waveguides enabling multiple waveguide configuration onto the platform. Different MEMS designs were simulated using static structural analysis in ANSYS. These designs were fabricated with a custom process by AEPONYX Inc. (Montreal, QC, Canada) and through the PiezoMUMPs process of MEMSCAP (Durham, NC, USA).
Project description:Broadband mid-infrared light sources are highly desired for wide-ranging applications that span free-space communications to spectroscopy. In recent years, silicon has attracted great interest as a platform for nonlinear optical wavelength conversion in this region, owing to its low losses (linear and nonlinear) and high stability. However, most research in this area has made use of small core waveguides fabricated from silicon-on-insulator platforms, which suffer from high absorption losses of the use of silica cladding, limiting their ability to generate light beyond 3?µm. Here, we design and demonstrate a compact silicon core, silica-clad waveguide platform that has low losses across the entire silicon transparency window. The waveguides are fabricated from a silicon core fibre that is tapered to engineer mode properties to ensure efficient nonlinear propagation in the core with minimal interaction of the mid-infrared light with the cladding. These waveguides exhibit many of the benefits of fibre platforms, such as a high coupling efficiency and power handling capability, allowing for the generation of mid-infrared supercontinuum spectra with high brightness and coherence spanning almost two octaves (1.6-5.3?µm).
Project description:A vital element in integrated optofluidics is dynamic tuning and precise control of photonic devices, especially when employing electronic techniques which are challenging to utilize in an aqueous environment. We overcome this challenge by introducing a new platform in which the photonic device is controlled using electro-optical phase tuning. The phase tuning is generated by the thermo-optic effect using an on-chip electric microheater located outside the fluidic channel, and is transmitted to the optofluidic device through optical waveguides. The microheater is compact, high-speed (> 18 kHz), and consumes low power (~mW). We demonstrate dynamic optical trapping control of nanoparticles by an optofluidic resonator. This novel electro-optofluidic platform allows the realization of high throughput optofluidic devices with switching, tuning, and reconfiguration capability, and promises new directions in optofluidics.
Project description:Chip-based photonic quantum computing is an emerging technology that promises much speedup over conventional computers at small integration volumes. Particular interest is thereby given to polarisation-encoded photonic qubits, and many protocols have been developed for this encoding. However, arbitrary wave plate operation on chip are not available so far, preventing from the implementation of integrated universal quantum computing algorithms. In our work we close this gap and present Hadamard, Pauli-X, and rotation gates of high fidelity for photonic polarisation qubits on chip by employing a reorientation of the optical axis of birefringent waveguides. The optical axis of the birefringent waveguide is rotated due to the impact of an artificial stress field created by an additional modification close to the waveguide. By adjusting this length of the defect along the waveguide, the retardation between ordinary and extraordinary field components is precisely tunable including half-wave plate and quarter-wave plate operations. Our approach demonstrates the full range control of orientation and strength of the induced birefringence and thus allows arbitrary wave plate operations without affecting the degree of polarisation or introducing additional losses to the waveguides. The implemented gates are tested with classical and quantum light.
Project description:Nanomechanical optical fibers with metal electrodes embedded in the jacket were fabricated by a multi-material co-draw technique. At the center of the fibers, two glass cores suspended by thin membranes and surrounded by air form a directional coupler that is highly temperature-dependent. We demonstrate optical switching between the two fiber cores by Joule heating of the electrodes with as little as 0.4 W electrical power, thereby demonstrating an electrically actuated all-fiber microelectromechanical system (MEMS). Simulations show that the main mechanism for optical switching is the transverse thermal expansion of the fiber structure.
Project description:High-index-contrast optical waveguides are crucial for the development of photonic integrated circuits with complex functionalities. Despite many similarities between optical and acoustic waves, high-acoustic-index-contrast phononic waveguides remain elusive, preventing intricate manipulation of phonons on par with its photonic counterpart. Here, we present the realization of such phononic waveguides and the formation of phononic integrated circuits through exploiting a gallium-nitride-on-sapphire platform, which provides strong confinement and control of phonons. By demonstrating key building blocks analogous to photonic circuit components, we establish the functionality and scalability of the phononic circuits. Moreover, the unidirectional excitation of propagating phononic modes allows the exploration of unconventional spin-orbit interaction of phonons in this circuit platform, which opens up the possibility of novel applications such as acoustic gyroscopic and non-reciprocal devices. Such phononic integrated circuits could provide an invaluable resource for both classical and quantum information processing.
Project description:This paper reports design of a 2 × 4 hybrid multimode interferometer-Mach-zehnder interferometer (MMI-MZI) configuration consiting of compact thermo-optical switches on the silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform. The device consists of two identical MMI slab waveguides as power splitters and couplers that are connected with two identical MMI-based phase shifters, and linear tapers at both ends of the MMIs to minimize the power coupling loss. A thin Al pad is used as a heating element and a trench is created around this pad to prevent heat from spreading, and to minimize loss. The calculated average thermo-optical switching power consumption, excess loss, and power imbalance are 1.4 mW, 0.9 dB, and 0.1 dB, respectively. The overall footprint of the device is 6 × 304 μ m 2 . The new heating method has advantages of compact size, ease of fabrication on SOI platform with the current CMOS technology, and offers low excess loss and power consumption as demanded by devices based on SOI technology. The device can act as two independent optical switches in one device.
Project description:All-optical operation holds promise as the future of computing technology, and key components include miniaturized waveguides (WGs) and couplers that control narrow bandwidths. Nanowires (NWs) offer an ideal platform for nanoscale WGs, but their utility has been limited by the lack of a comprehensive coupling scheme with band selectivity. Here, we introduce a NW geometric superlattice (GSL) that allows narrow-band guiding in Si NWs through coupling of a Mie resonance with a bound-guided state (BGS). Periodic diameter modulation creates a Mie-BGS-coupled excitation that manifests as a scattering dark state with a pronounced scattering dip in the Mie resonance. The frequency of the coupled mode, tunable from the visible to near-infrared, is determined by the pitch of the GSL. Using a combined GSL-WG system, we demonstrate spectrally selective guiding and optical switching and sensing at telecommunication wavelengths, highlighting the potential to use NW GSLs for the design of on-chip optical components.
Project description:Endoscopic optical-coherence tomography (OCT) systems require low cost mirrors with small footprint size, out-of-plane deflections and low bias voltage. These requirements can be achieved with electrothermal actuators based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). We present the design and modeling of polysilicon electrothermal actuators for a MEMS mirror (100 ?m × 100 ?m × 2.25 ?m). These actuators are composed by two beam types (2.25 ?m thickness) with different cross-section area, which are separated by 2 ?m gap. The mirror and actuators are designed through the Sandia Ultra-planar Multi-level MEMS Technology V (SUMMiT V®) process, obtaining a small footprint size (1028 ?m × 1028 µm) for actuators of 550 µm length. The actuators have out-of-plane displacements caused by low dc voltages and without use material layers with distinct thermal expansion coefficients. The temperature behavior along the actuators is calculated through analytical models that include terms of heat energy generation, heat conduction and heat energy loss. The force method is used to predict the maximum out-of-plane displacements in the actuator tip as function of supplied voltage. Both analytical models, under steady-state conditions, employ the polysilicon resistivity as function of the temperature. The electrothermal-and structural behavior of the actuators is studied considering different beams dimensions (length and width) and dc bias voltages from 0.5 to 2.5 V. For 2.5 V, the actuator of 550 µm length reaches a maximum temperature, displacement and electrical power of 115 °C, 10.3 µm and 6.3 mW, respectively. The designed actuation mechanism can be useful for MEMS mirrors of different sizes with potential application in endoscopic OCT systems that require low power consumption.
Project description:In a droplet transport based on electrowetting on dielectrics, the parallel-plate configuration is more popular than the single-plate one because the droplet transport becomes increasingly difficult without cover plate. In spite of the improved transport performance, the parallel-plate configuration often limits the access to the peripheral components, requesting the removal of the cover plate, the single-plate configuration. We investigated the fundamental features of droplet transport for the single-plate configuration. We compared the performance of several switching methods with respect to maximum speed of successive transport without failure and suggested nonfloating switching method which is inherently free from the charge-residue problem and exerts greater force on a droplet than conventional switching methods. A simple theory is provided to understand the different results for the switching methods.
Project description:Varifocal lenses, conventionally implemented by changing the axial distance between multiple optical elements, have a wide range of applications in imaging and optical beam scanning. The use of conventional bulky refractive elements makes these varifocal lenses large, slow, and limits their tunability. Metasurfaces, a new category of lithographically defined diffractive devices, enable thin and lightweight optical elements with precisely engineered phase profiles. Here we demonstrate tunable metasurface doublets, based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), with more than 60 diopters (about 4%) change in the optical power upon a 1-?m movement of one metasurface, and a scanning frequency that can potentially reach a few kHz. They can also be integrated with a third metasurface to make compact microscopes (~1?mm thick) with a large corrected field of view (~500??m or 40 degrees) and fast axial scanning for 3D imaging. This paves the way towards MEMS-integrated metasurfaces as a platform for tunable and reconfigurable optics.