Browse Prior Art Database

Integrated Fiber Optical Switching Element

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000100190D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-15
Document File: 3 page(s) / 179K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Heinzmann, P: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article proposes a microfabricated rotatable optical switch which allows establishing selectable connections between stationary optical fibers or waveguides.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Integrated Fiber Optical Switching Element

       This article proposes a microfabricated rotatable optical
switch which allows establishing selectable connections between
stationary optical fibers or waveguides.

      Proposed is an optical switching element consisting of silicon
microfabricated mechanical parts which also contain integrated
optical waveguides.  Silicon microfabrication allows for batch
production of moving elements with sizes in 10 mm to several 100 mm
and masses of billionth of a gram, which can be driven with very low
power.  The use of silicon as a substrate for optical waveguides
offers the advantage of propagation losses about an order of
magnitude lower than for LiNbO3 . The switching element may, e.g., be
used to perform bypassing and loop-back functions in fiber optical
bus or ring networks.

      Fig. 1 shows the plan view and cross-section of the proposed
microfabricated switching element.  It consists of a fixed part (base
plate) and a moving part (rotor). Electric or magnetic actuators
force the rotor which contains integrated waveguide patterns into
different positions so that various interconnection configurations
between peripheral optical fibers on a stationary part are achieved.
The base plate contains electric or magnetic actuators for the rotor.
 It holds input/output fibers and/or waveguides to connect an optical
source and a detector to the rotor.  The rotor contains the pattern
of optical waveguides to link the input/output channels together.  It
may also c...