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Micromechanical optical switches based on thermocapillary integrated in waveguide substrate

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4 Author(s)
Makihara, M. ; NTT Opto-Electron. Labs., Tokyo, Japan ; Sato, M. ; Shimokawa, F. ; Nishida, Y.

This paper proposes micromechanical optical switches which are suitable for integration in an optical waveguide substrate. The switching mechanism is based on the capillary effect induced by a temperature gradient. The switch has a simple structure which consists of a oil filled slit and a pair of microheaters. We designed two types of thermocapillary optical switches. One was a bubble-driven type, the other was an oil-column-driven type. We fabricated both types of 1×3 micro-switches and demonstrated excellent optical switching and self-latching performance

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Lightwave Technology, Journal of  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 1 )