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Interference-based micromechanical spectral equalizers

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7 Author(s)
Ford, J.E. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of California, La Jolla, CA, USA ; Goossen, K.W. ; Walker, J.A. ; Neilson, D.T.
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Dynamic gain equalization filters (DGEFs) are important for high-performance wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) communications. One of the first demonstrated DGEF used a micromechanical etalon filter array illuminated with free-space spectral demultiplexing optics. Here, we present subsequent research on etalon-based dynamic spectral filters, including vertical device structures which linearize and reduce the drive voltage from 70 to 40 V, and spatially-segmented etalons which allow channelized spectral equalization and further reduce drive voltage. We describe a prototype using a simplified cylindrical optomechanical package with a 104-nm broadband spectral response, 7.5-dB insertion loss and less than 16-V operation voltage. Finally, we show the use of a 42-nm bandwidth DGEF prototype with feedback stabilization to more than double the number of channels and operating bandwidth of a conventional Erbium-doped fiber amplifier while maintaining < 1-dB power uniformity.

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Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 3 )