16 August 2004 4x4 and 8x8 optical cross connect for optical fiber networks
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Abstract
We report on a 4x4 optical matrix switch for telecom application. It consists of a 4x4 array of vertical mirrors that have the same pitch as the fibers of commercially available fiber ribbons (250 μm). This compact design enables a parallel assembly to optical components, which simplifies the time consuming and costly process for switches with larger pitch. Additionally, a small pitch leads to a short optical coupling length, which facilitates the integration of a suitable collimation system. However there are physical limitations for optical MEMS in conjunction with assembled micro-optics. The optical beam exiting a collimator diverges, the divergence angle is indirectly proportional to the beam waist and the coupling length increases quadratically. Our calculations show that for a pitch of 250 µm a mirror height of 100 μm is optimal. The mirrors are monolithically etched onto a platform etched during a previous step. No assembly of the mirrors to the actuators is needed. Alignment structures for the optical components are etched during the same step as the mirrors, which lead to self aligned structures. The platform is supported by 150 μm long torsion beams with sub-micron diameter. The electrostatic actuation voltage is given by a separate chip. The mirror moves out of the optical path when the platform is actuated and goes to the switching state if no voltage is applied. The first prototypes have been actuated at 200 V, which agrees with a CoventorWare simulation used for designing the device. Light was successfully switched with a 4x4 OXC. An 8x8 OXC is shown and electrostatically characterized.
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Michael Zickar, Michael Zickar, Wilfried Noell, Wilfried Noell, Cornel Marxer, Cornel Marxer, Nicolaas F. de Rooij, Nicolaas F. de Rooij, } "4x4 and 8x8 optical cross connect for optical fiber networks", Proc. SPIE 5455, MEMS, MOEMS, and Micromachining, (16 August 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.544915; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.544915
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