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Free-space micromachined optical switches with submillisecond switching time for large-scale optical crossconnects

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3 Author(s)
L. Y. Lin ; AT&T Labs., Red Bank, NJ, USA ; E. L. Goldstein ; R. W. Tkach

Optical crossconnects with large port counts are fast becoming critical components for high-capacity optical transport networks. The free-space micromachined optical switches (FS-MOS) demonstrated in this letter represent a means of filling this network need by combining the advantages of free-space interconnection with the virtues of integrated optics. Featuring free-rotating hinged micromirrors, the switch overcomes the common drawback of mechanical-type switches, namely long switching time. Measurements have revealed switching times less than 700 μs, crosstalk less than -60 dB, extinction ratio greater than 60 dB, negligible polarization-dependent loss, and excellent bit-error-rate (BER) performance.

Published in:

IEEE Photonics Technology Letters  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 4 )