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This paper presents the design, fabrication, and measurement results of a 2×2 microelectromechanical systems optical switch. The switch comprises an electromagnet and lensed fibers assembled with a micromachined movable vertical micromirror. The optical switch utilizes the out-of-plane motion of the vertical micromirror actuated by electromagnetic force compared to the comb-driven linear actuation achieved by the electrostatic force. At a wavelength of 1550 nm, the insertion loss of 0.2-0.8 dB and the polarization-dependent loss of 0.02-0.2 dB are measured. The switching time is 1 ms. A novel method of realizing a latchable optical switch using an electromagnetic actuator is also provided and verified. The latch mechanism is based on the latchability of the electropermanent magnet instead of the mechanical one using conventional arch-shaped leaf springs.
Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of (Volume:10 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: May-June 2004