|A micromachined in-plane tunable optical filter using the thermo-optic effect of crystalline silicon|
|Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, Volume 13, Number 5
This paper presents a micromachined in-plane tunable optical filter using the thermo-optic effect of crystalline silicon. The device was fabricated by a silicon deep reactive ion etching process with a silicon-on-insulator wafer and thermal oxide removal to improve the sidewall smoothness. Optical fibers could be horizontally aligned on the fabricated TOF device by exploiting in-plane device structures, which enable TOFs to easily connect with other optical components. Tunability of the TOFs was experimentally achieved through thermal modulation of optical path length by heating the silicon etalon. As the input voltage increases, a notch in the reflectance spectrum shifts to a longer wavelength with an average tuning sensitivity of 0.9 nm K−1 and a best bandwidth of 1.1 nm. The proposed device can be utilized for spectroscopy or optical communication.