Silicon photonics is the study and application of integrated optical systems which use silicon as an optical medium, usually by confining light in optical waveguides etched into the surface of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers. The term microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) refers to the technology of mechanics on the microscale actuated by electrostatic actuators. Due to the low power requirements of electrostatic actuation, MEMS components are very power efficient, making them well suited for dense integration and mobile operation. MEMS components are conventionally also implemented in silicon, and MEMS sensors such as accelerometers, gyros, and microphones are now standard in every smartphone. By combining these two successful technologies, new active photonic components with extremely low power consumption can be made. We discuss our recent experimental work on tunable filters, tunable fiber-to-chip couplers, and dynamic waveguide dispersion tuning, enabled by the marriage of silicon MEMS and silicon photonics.
Carlos Errando-Herranz, Pierre Edinger, Marco Colangelo, Joel Björk, Samy Ahmed, Göran Stemme, Frank Niklaus, and Kristinn B. Gylfason, "New dynamic silicon photonic components enabled by MEMS technology," Proc. SPIE 10537, Silicon Photonics XIII, 1053711 (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 01, 2018; Published: 22 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2297588.
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