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Femtosecond laser-inscribed non-volatile integrated optical switch in fused silica based on microfluidics-controlled total internal reflection

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

We demonstrate a non-volatile optical power switch, fabricated by femtosecond laser inscription in a fused silica substrate, with switching operation based on microfluidics-controlled total internal reflection. The switch consists of crossed waveguides and a rectangular, high aspect ratio microfluidic channel, located at the waveguide crossing. The switching between total internal reflection and transmission at the channel wall is determined by the refractive index of the medium inside the channel. Femtosecond laser inscription allows for co-integration of low-loss optical waveguides and channels with smooth sidewalls and thus the fabrication of low insertion loss switches that are broadband and show low polarization dependent losses. The measured total internal reflection loss of the fabricated switch is about 1.5dB at the wavelength 1550 nm. The loss due to transmission through the channel filled with refractive index matching liquid is about 0.5 dB. Detailed finite difference time domain and beam propagation method simulations of the switch's performance indicate that the losses can be further reduced by optimizing its geometry, together with further adjusting the inscription parameters.
Journal: Journal of Lightwave Technology
ISSN: 0733-8724
Issue: 15
Volume: 38
Pages: 3965 - 3973
Publication year:2020
Keywords:Computer science/information technology, Electrical & electronic engineering, Classical physics