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Free-Space Micromachined Optical Switches with Submillisecond Switching Time for Large-Scale Optical Crossconnects

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Optical crossconnects with large port counts are fast becoming critical components for high-capacity optical transport networks. The free-space micromachined optical switches (FS- MOS) demonstrated in this letter represent a means of filling this network need by combining the advantages of free-space interconnection with the virtues of integrated optics. Featuring free-rotating hinged micromirrors, the switch overcomes the common drawback of mechanical-type switches, namely long switching time. Measurements have revealed switching times less than 700μs, crosstalk less than -60 dB, extinction r&o greater than 60 dB, negligible polarization-dependent loss, and excellent bit-error-rate (BER) performance.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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