Browse Prior Art Database

Optomechanical Scanner

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118537D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 93K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Alvarado, SF: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed are Optomechanical Structures (OMS) consisting of integrated light sources or optical waveguides which can be electromechanically scanned to couple signals in or out of an array of passive or active optoelectronical devices/channels. In the case of a scannable solid state laser, the stresses acting on the active layer give rise to a shift of the wavelength of the emitted radiation, an effect which might be of use in wavelength multiplexing. Furthermore, these devices may be used for optical projection displays, as optical scanners, photocopiers, signal multiplexers for optoelectronic devices, etc.

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Optomechanical Scanner

      Disclosed are Optomechanical Structures (OMS) consisting of
integrated light sources or optical waveguides which can be
electromechanically scanned to couple signals in or out of an array
of passive or active optoelectronical devices/channels.  In the case
of a scannable solid state laser, the stresses acting on the active
layer give rise to a shift of the wavelength of the emitted
radiation, an effect which might be of use in wavelength
multiplexing.  Furthermore, these devices may be used for optical
projection displays, as optical scanners, photocopiers, signal
multiplexers for optoelectronic devices, etc.

      The basic building unit of the device consists of active (e.g.,
a light source like a semiconductor laser) or passive (e.g., an
optical waveguide, a photon detector) optical elements fabricated in
such a way  that they form part of a cantilever or other scannable
mechanical structure.  The switching frequency limit is determined by
the mechanical  resonance frequency f sub 0 of the structure.  In the
case of cantilevers  used in scanning force microscopy, f sub 0  can
be of the order of several 100kHz.  The input/output of the optical
device can be scanned by  deflecting the end of the cantilever by
means of:
  1.  electrostatic fields
  2.  piezoelectric effects provided that the cantilever contains
       at least one layer of piezoelectric material (also called
       bimorph).
  3.  thermomechanical forces (e.g., bimorphs)
  4.  a combination of 1), 2) and 3).

      Fig. 1 is a schematic of a scannable single quantum well solid
state laser for direct coupling an optical signal into an array...