The main objective of my thesis is to explore a new approach to generating active optical switching effect on silicon-based materials. The approach to be taken is based on the mature silicon integrated circuit (IC) fabrication technology and the recently well-developed silicon micromachining technology....[ Read more ]
The main objective of my thesis is to explore a new approach to generating active optical switching effect on silicon-based materials. The approach to be taken is based on the mature silicon integrated circuit (IC) fabrication technology and the recently well-developed silicon micromachining technology.
Silicon is an excellent material for making micro-devices because of the well-developed silicon integrated circuit fabrication technology as well as the superior thermal and mechanical properties. However, making active optical switches using silicon is very difficult because silicon does not have the linear electro-optic effect which is commonly used for generating active switching functions.
Recently, a technology, called silicon micromachining, for making movable components on silicon substrates has been successfully developed. We therefore propose to make use of this new technology, together with the mature silicon IC technology, to fabricate movable integrated silicon optical waveguides for generating active optical switching functions on silicon.
In the thesis, I will first review the basic concepts of standard fabrication technology. The fabrication process of SOI movable integrated optical waveguide which I developed is described. The motion of the waveguide can be actively controlled by voltage. These movable waveguides can be used in the application of optical switching.
I will next describe the general operating characteristic of these movable waveguides, the static and dynamic responses of the device, and the realization of the electrical control. The variation of the optical power coupling with actuation voltage is also shown.
SOI movable integrated optical waveguides have great potential on many applications. The optical switches and optical scanning probe with our waveguides are also shown in this thesis.