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Dynamic spectral power equalization using micro-opto-mechanics

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2 Author(s)
Ford, J.E. ; Bell Labs., Lucent Technol., Holmdel, NJ, USA ; Walker, J.A.

We present a voltage-controlled spectral attenuator for gain shaping and power equalization in wavelength division multiplexed single-mode fiber systems. A micro-opto-mechanical modulator array, where electrostatic deflection of a silicon nitride quarter-wave dielectric layer suspended over a silicon substrate creates a column of variable reflectivity mirrors, is packaged using bulk optics and a diffraction grating to disperse the input spectrum across the device and collect the reflected light into a separate output fiber. The packaged component has 9-dB excess loss, 20-dB dynamic range and 10-μs response. We demonstrate equalization of the amplified spontaneous emission spectrum from an erbium-doped fiber amplifier and of individual laser signals with 10-dB initial variation to less than 0.5-dB variation over a 24-nm passband-free spectrum.

Published in:

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