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Optical filters of arbitrary transfer function may be implemented in thin-film form by controllably stressing an elastic thin-film waveguide.
English (United States)
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Thin Film Birefringent Filters
Optical filters of arbitrary transfer function may be implemented in thin-film
form by controllably stressing an elastic thin-film waveguide.
Thin-film integrated optical spectral filters are normally made with mechanical
gratings or acoustic waves, only the latter being tunable. Mechanically tuned thin-
film filters of essentially arbitrary transfer function might also be implemented
using the large anisotropic index of refraction changes which may be stress
induced in transparent elastic waveguides, such as room temperature
vulcanizing (RTV) methylsiloxane silicone rubbers.
A simple implementation emulates the Solc filter of conventional optics (J. E.
Evans, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 48, 142 (1958)). In one kind of Solc filter the optical
signal propagates through a series of uniaxial crystal plates whose optic axes
alternate in direction about an axis fixed in space. These crystal plates are all
placed between crossed polarizers. Proper choice of the plates' retardations and
orientations gives a narrow band-pass characteristic.
A thin-film realization is illustrated. The guided wave 10 propagates under a
pair of comb-like structures 12 affixed to the top of an RTV film 14 resting upon a
substrate 16. The comb structures 12 are pulled away from each other by forces
f applied parallel to the film so as to apply to the film an equal shear stress in the
plane of the film. This produces a stress distribution with principal axes 18