Recent results of our studies into optical effects where sub-micron length scales play a pivotal role are presented. We start with a discussion of fine optical features produced by relatively large objects, and then move on to consider the big effects that can be produced by sub-micron structures. Topics covered include fine structure in the optical field of microlenses and gratings, and then further down in length scale from microstructured surfaces to resonant filters, photonic crystal waveguides and metallic nanoparticles. For each step we demonstrate potential applications in which such a length scale can present important advantages, as well as discussing some of the disadvantages and challenges in the design and fabrication of such elements. We particularly highlight the sensitivity of many of the structures to small variations in optical situation (e.g. geometry, orientation, material, polarization) leading significant optical effects for small-scale changes. Methods for the characterization of optical fields produced by objects at these smaller dimensions are also presented.
We report on an angle-tunable oblique incidence resonant grating filter that can be used to drop individual channels from the C-band for incident TE-polarized light. For tuning purpose, the filter is glued onto a tiltable platform of a MEMS device. Continues scanning of the platform allows to monitor channel presence and power. The reflected wavelength is tuned by changing the angle of incidence of the resonant grating filter, which is composed of two thin films with a grating pattern on top of it. The first layer on a glass substrate acts as a waveguide, and the second layer separates the waveguide from the grating. The grating has been patterned by holographic recording and dry etching. The filter works over a wavelength range of 1520-1580 nm and its response has a Lorentian shape with 0.5 nm FWHM peak width. The MEMS part is based on SOI technology and is processed in only two DRIE steps. The platform measures 2 x 2 mm<sup>2</sup> with a through-hole of 1.6 x 1.8 mm<sup>2</sup> for light transmission. Two arrays of combs attached to the platform as well as a set of four static combs are used to electrostatically incline the platform by ± 4° with a driving voltage of about 60 V.
We present recent applications of one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) periodic structures. The structures were designed using rigorous diffraction theory and produced by modern micromachining techniques (electron beam writing, optical lithography). In addition, interferometric recording of periodic structures was investigated in order to fabricate periodic structures with arbitrary profile shapes.
We designed a tunable, oblique incidence resonant grating filter covering the c-band as drop device. Our resonant grating filter consists of a planar waveguide on a glass substrate covered by low index medium that separates the waveguide from the grating on top of it. With these 3 layers we reach a finesse of more than 3000, which would require much more layers in traditional thin film technology. The drop filter can be tuned by tilting the MEMS platform on which the filter will be glued. Tuning over the c-band will require tilt angles of 3° of the MEMS platform in both directions. Measurements indicate a resonance peak shift of 1.2% and a negligible shape change of the resonance peak from 1526nm at 45° angle of incidence to 1573nm at 53° with a full width at half maximum of 0.4nm. In this range the peak wavelength shift is linear with respect to the change of the AOI.