1 May 2014 Suspended photonic waveguide arrays for submicrometer alignment
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Abstract
This paper presents a new alignment concept for the alignment of multichannel photonic intergrated circuits (PICs) using flexible photonic waveguides on one of the PICs that are positionable by integrated micro electro mechanical system (MEMS) actuators. The concept aims for high precision and high degree of assembly process automation. The proposed concept includes pre-alignment of both PICs on a common substrate followed by fine-alignment using the on-chip flexible waveguides and MEMS functionality. This paper introduces the alignment approach and reports on the development and fabrication of suspended and mechanically flexible photonic waveguides. Single suspended waveguide beams and suspended arrays with two and four coupled parallel waveguide beams of different lengths (250 μm to 1000 μm) and different widths (18 μm to 34 μm) are designed and fabricated. After fabrication, waveguide beam fracturing is observed. The fabrication process has been extended by an additional under-etching step in order to reduce beam fracturing. The static out-of-plane deflection of the fabricated devices follows a specific profile with a dominating upward curvature resulting in a measured maximum out-of-plane deflection of 2% of the length. The beam stiffness of the fabricated devices is measured and proves to be within the available force of microactuators.
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Tjitte-Jelte Peters, Marcel Tichem, Urs Staufer, "Suspended photonic waveguide arrays for submicrometer alignment", Proc. SPIE 9133, Silicon Photonics and Photonic Integrated Circuits IV, 913317 (1 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2052430; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2052430
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