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Optica Publishing Group
  • Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics
  • OSA Technical Digest (Optica Publishing Group, 1995),
  • paper CThL4

Speed and polarization characteristics of widely tunable micromachined GaAs Fabry-Perot filters

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Wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) is promising for increasing the transmission bandwidth and the routing capability of optical communications.1 However, the implementation of practical systems has been limited by device technology.2,3 An ideal device would have a wide and continuous tuning range, low control power, low insertion loss, simple coupling, high extinction ratio, reasonable tuning speeds, no polarization dependance, compatibility with multi-mode fibers, and simple fabrication to facilitate 2-D arrays. Although many tunable filter structures have been presented, none has met all the above criteria. We present a micromechanical surface-normal transmission filter that may be continuously tuned over 70 nm with a control voltage of 5 V and a power dissipation of as little as 250 pW. The surface-normal structure is naturally fabricated as a 2-D array and is optimal for fiber coupling. The device-fabrication process is simple and high yield, requiring only two noncritical lithography steps. In this work, we report detailed measurements to show that the device is polarization insensitive and has a resonance frequency of 1.1 MHz.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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