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21 January 2003 Bionics: prcise color tuning by interference in nature and technology-applications in surface-micromachined 1.55μm vertical air-cavity filters
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Proceedings Volume 4983, MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems III; (2003)
Event: Micromachining and Microfabrication, 2003, San Jose, CA, United States
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.
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Hartmut Hillmer, Juergen Daleiden, Cornelia Prott, Soeren Irmer, Friedhard Roemer, Edwin Ataro, Amer Tarraf, H. Ruehling, Markus Maniak, and Martin Strassner "Bionics: prcise color tuning by interference in nature and technology-applications in surface-micromachined 1.55μm vertical air-cavity filters", Proc. SPIE 4983, MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems III, (21 January 2003);

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