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3 August 2004 Integrated beam-steered optical switch
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We report an optical switch that is based on the beam steering of an optical waveguide formed by injection of electrons in a p-i-n slab waveguide structure. The structure consists of an undoped InGaAsP multiple quantum well (MQW) layer, with a total thickness of 0.28 μm that is sandwiched between n-doped InP cladding layers. Zinc is diffused into the top cladding layer through a silicon nitride mask to form the p-regions on top of which a pair of 10 um wide parallel titanium-zinc-gold contact stripes are deposited by evaporation and lift-off. The gap between the stripes is 20 μm wide and the device is cleaved to a length of 800 um. Electrical currents are injected through the electrodes and a laser beam is launched into the middle of the gap region. The injected electrons accumulate in the MQW layer and spread sideways by diffusion. The regions that are saturated with electrons experience a decrease in refractive index and surround a narrow high index region effectively forming a channel waveguide. By carefully controlling the current ratio through the two parallel stripes, the waveguide can be shifted, thereby steering the guided laser beam.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Daniel A. May-Arrioja, Nathan P. Bickel, and Patrick L. LiKamWa "Integrated beam-steered optical switch", Proc. SPIE 5435, Enabling Photonic Technologies for Aerospace Applications VI, (3 August 2004);

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