Cost efficient and purpose build microsystems for technical applications become more and more relevant. In the field of
optical devices we developed an adaptive modular micro-optical system based on a Mach-Zehnder Delay Interferometer
to show the feasibility to fabricate active optical microsystems adaptive to different measurement and data
communication network applications. To realize such an adaptive modular micro-optical system with an active tuning
device, a construction kit was designed and realized to combine different types of signal routing and system tuning, for
example by choosing an optical or electronical signal output and different microactuators suitable for several
applications, with special designed micro-optical benches (MOB) including the respective optical structures or hybrid
integrated components. It is based on automated passive alignment of the optical components and has to be designed by
using well defined interfaces. Different types of this modular system have been set-up and the application as a Fourier
transformed wavemeter are shown as an example.
Micro-optical interferometer systems are requested for optical sensor application as well as for signal monitoring or
signal (de)modulation in case of optical data networking. Using the opportunities of LIGA technology with its
precision in manufacturing of polymeric microstructures with a high aspect ratio, e.g. for the exact alignment of
commercially available optical elements or to realize the micro optical structures itself, offers the possibility to design
and fabricate complex modular micro-optical systems. Due to this modular concept the MOEMS are usually composed
of a micro-optical bench (MOB) and an external platform with a micro actuator. The combination to a subsystem can be
realized by standard assembly technology.
A first designed prototype using this advanced modular concept is a micro Mach-Zehnder interferometer based on free
space propagation. It was developed to be applied in different fields of c-band applications at 1550 nm up to 40 Gbps.