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Actuated micromachined microreflector with two degrees of freedom for integrated optical systems

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The growing optical communications and measurement market requires low-cost, high- performance optoelectronic modules such as laser-to-fiber couplers, tunable lasers, scanners, interferometers, etc. Unlike integrated electronic circuits, integrated optical systems require precise alignment of components. A misalignment of less than 1 pm can dramatically decrease system performance. While silicon-optical-bench (SOB) technology provides for hybrid integration of semiconductor lasers, lenses, and optical fibers on a silicon chip, it is typically limited to +I pm alignment tolerances (without externa1 adjustment). Another limitation is the lack of on-chip actuated optical components (such as mirrors, gratings, lenses, etc.) As a result, SOB technology applications have been limited to simple systems with no more than three or four components. To overcome these limitations a micromachined free-space optical platform has been proposed [ 1, 21. By combining micromachined movable optical components with lasers, lenses, and fibers on a silicon substrate, we can produce complex self-aligning optical systems on a chip. In order to function in a self-contained optical module, the micromachined components must have sufficient precision and, where required, must have on-chip actuation. In this paper, we present an actuated micromachined microreflector with two degrees of freedom and on-chip resonant electrostatically driven impact actuations.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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