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25 March 2003 Novel low-cost and simple fabrication technology for tunable dielectric active and passive optical air-gap devices
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A novel low cost technology for fabrication of micro-opto-electro-mechanical devices based on plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) of dielectric materials is presented. Applying surface micromachining, we produce suspended dielectric membranes and cantilevers by involving a common photo resist as sacrificial layer. The intrinsic stress in the layers is adjusted using an interlacing of high (13.56MHz) and low (130kHz) plasma excitation frequencies in the PECVD. A diffraction image method and microstructures are used for the homogeneous stress evaluation. The stress of silicon nitride can be varied in a wide range between +850MPa compressive and −300MPa tensile and no dependence of the frequency on silicon dioxide intrinsic stress is noticed. Depending on lateral design and gradient stress variation, Fabry-Perot filter membranes with radius of curvature (ROC) between −1.7mm and 51mm as well as cavity lengths between 2.3μm and 13.5μm are implemented. Thus, convex, concave and plane membranes are produced. Furthermore, a thermally tuned air-gap Fabry-Perot filter with 8nm FWHM and a tunability of 15nm/mA is fabricated. Strategies of combining these filters with organic laser materials are developed. For this purpose, molecular glasses capable of amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) are chosen, e.g. the molecular glass 4-Spiro which shows an amplified spontaneous emission line at a low threshold of 3.2μJ/cm2 pump laser power density.
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Amer Tarraf, Juergen Daleiden, Soeren Irmer, Ventzeslav Rangelov, Friedhard Roemer, Cornelia Prott, Edwin Ataro, Hartmut Hillmer, Thomas Fuhrmann, Till Spehr, and Josef Salbeck "Novel low-cost and simple fabrication technology for tunable dielectric active and passive optical air-gap devices", Proc. SPIE 4945, MEMS/MOEMS: Advances in Photonic Communications, Sensing, Metrology, Packaging and Assembly, (25 March 2003);

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