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A Switchable Liquid-Crystal Optical Channel Waveguide on Silicon

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7 Author(s)
Domenico Donisi ; Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto per la Microelettronica e Microsistemi (CNR-IMM), Rome, Italy ; Bob Bellini ; Romeo Beccherelli ; Rita Asquini
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An integrated optical switch based on liquid crystal on silicon is reported. The switch consists of an optical waveguide, whose core is made of nematic liquid crystal E7 infiltrated in a SiO2/Si V-groove. The electrooptic effect allows us to control the waveguide propagation condition by means of ITO and Si electrodes. A voltage as low as 2 V applied to the driving electrodes turns the waveguide on. Since the output intensity increases with voltage, the waveguide behaves also as a variable optical attenuator. A maximum ON-OFF extinction ratio in excess of 44 dB was measured.

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 5 )