Abstract

A comprehensive study of electrothermally driven microelectromechanical system (MEMS) variable optical attenuator (VOA) devices using an H-shaped structure is presented in this paper. Based on its unique structural design, a retroreflection-type VOA of smaller footprint is realized. The repeatability and stability of the static and transient characteristics of attenuation behavior at various ambient temperatures are characterized. The fluctuation of attenuation curves under the same driving voltage at the same ambient temperatures is less than ±0.1 dB. Again, comparing the attenuation curves measured at 25 °C to 75 °Cand at 25 °C to 12.5 °C, the deviation of attenuation under the same driving voltage is within the 0.6-dB range. Within the 40-dB attenuation range, the measured switching time from nonattenuation state to a particular attenuation state or between two attenuation states is less than 10 ms. This electrothermally actuated MEMS VOA also demonstrates the state-of-the-art dynamic attenuation stability that complies with the Telecordia GR1221 regulations, where the dynamic fluctuation of attenuation at 20 dB is less than ±0.36 dB under a vibration testing condition of 20 G periodical shocks with frequency from 20 Hz to 2 kHz.

© 2007 IEEE

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  1. L. Y. Lin, E. L. Goldstein, "Opportunities and challenges for MEMS in lightwave communications," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 8, 163-172 (2002).
  2. J. E. Ford, K. W. Goossen, J. A. Walker, D. T. Neilson, D. M. Tennant, S. Y. Park, J. W. Sulhoff, "Interference-based micromechanical spectral equalizers," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 10, 579-587 (2004).
  3. M. Yano, F. Yamagishi, T. Tsuda, "Optical MEMS for photonic switching—Compact and stable optical crossconnect switches for simple, fast, and flexible wavelength applications in recent photonic networks," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 11, 383-394 (2005).
  4. B. Barber, C. R. Giles, V. Askyuk, R. Ruel, L. Stulz, D. Bishop, "A fiber connectorized MEMS variable optical attenuator," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 10, 1262-1264 (1998).
  5. J. E. Ford, J. A. Walker, "Dynamic spectral power equalization using micro-opto-mechanics," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 10, 1440-1442 (1998).
  6. X. M. Zhang, A. Q. Liu, C. Lu, D. Y. Tang, "MEMS variable optical attenuator using low driving voltage for DWDM systems," Electron. Lett. 38, 382-383 (2002).
  7. A. Q. Liu, X. M. Zhang, C. Lu, F. Wang, C. Lu, Z. S. Liu, "Optical and mechanical models for a variable optical attenuator using a micromirror drawbridge," J. Micromech. Microeng. 13, 400-411 (2003).
  8. X. M. Zhang, A. Q. Liu, C. Lu, F. Wang, Z. S. Liu, "Polysilicon micromachined fiber-optical attenuator for DWDM applications," Sens. Actuators A, Phys. 108, 28-35 (2003).
  9. K. Isamoto, K. Kato, A. Morosawa, C. Chong, H. Fujita, H. Toshiyoshi, "A 5-V operated MEMS variable optical attenuator by SOI bulk micromachining," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 10, 570-578 (2004).
  10. C. Marxer, P. Griss, N. F. de Rooij, "A variable optical attenuator based on silicon micromechanics," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 11, 233-235 (1999).
  11. C. Chen, C. Lee, Y.-J. Lai, W.-C. Chen, "Development and application of lateral comb drive actuator," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 1, Regul. Rap. Short Notes 42, 4067-4073 (2003).
  12. C. Chen, C. Lee, Y.-J. Lai, "Novel VOA using in-plane reflective micromirror and off-axis light attenuation," IEEE Commun. Mag. 41, S16-S20 (2003).
  13. Y. Y. Kim, S. S. Yun, C. S. Park, J.-H. Lee, Y. G. Lee, H. K. Lee, S. K. Yoon, J. S. Kang, "Refractive variable optical attenuator fabricated by silicon deep reactive ion etching," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 485-487 (2004).
  14. A. Bashir, P. Katila, N. Ogier, B. Saadany, D. A. Khalil, "A MEMS-based VOA with very low PDL," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 1047-1049 (2004).
  15. C. Chen, C. Lee, J. A. Yeh, "Retro-reflection type MOEMS VOA," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 2290-2292 (2004).
  16. H. Cai, X. M. Zhang, C. Lu, A. Q. Liu, E. H. Khoo, "Linear MEMS variable optical attenuator using reflective elliptical mirror," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 402-404 (2005).
  17. C.-H. Kim, Y.-K. Kim, "MEMS variable optical attenuator using translation motion of 45$^{\circ}$ tilted vertical mirror," J. Micromech. Microeng. 15, 1466-1475 (2005).
  18. T.-S. Lim, C.-H. Ji, C.-H. Oh, H. Kwon, Y. Yee, J. U. Bu, "Electrostatic MEMS variable optical attenuator with rotating folded micromirror," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 10, 558-562 (2004).
  19. J. A. Yeh, S.-S. Jiang, C. Lee, "MOEMS VOA using rotary comb drive actuators," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett to be published.
  20. C. Lee, Y.-S. Lin, "A new micromechanism for transformation of small displacements to large rotations for a VOA," IEEE Sensors J. 4, 503-509 (2004).
  21. J. C. Chiou, W. T. Lin, "Variable optical attenuator using a thermal actuator array with dual shutters," Opt. Commun. 237, 341-350 (2004).
  22. R. R. A. Syms, H. Zou, J. Stagg, H. Veladi, "Sliding-blade MEMS iris and variable optical attenuator," J. Micromech. Microeng. 14, 1700-1710 (2004).
  23. C. Lee, "Variable optical attenuator using planar light attenuation scheme based on rotational and translational misalignment," Microsyst. Technol. 13, 41-48 (2005).
  24. C. Lee, "MOEMS variable optical attenuator with improved dynamic characteristics based on robust design," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 18, 773-775 (2006).
  25. C. Lee, "Monolithic-integrated 8CH MEMS variable optical attenuators," Sens. Actuators A, Phys. 123/124, 596-601 (2005).
  26. C. Lee, "Arrayed variable optical attenuator using retro-reflective MEMS mirrors," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 2640-2642 (2005).
  27. G. Wu, A. R. Mirza, S. K. Gamage, L. Ukrainczyk, N. Shashidhar, G. Wruck, M. Ruda, "Design and use of compact lensed fibers for low cost packaging of optical MEMS components," J. Micromech. Microeng. 14, 1367-1375 (2004).
  28. C. Lee, C.-Y. Wu, "Study of electrothermal V-beam actuators and latched mechanism for optical switch," J. Micromech. Microeng. 15, 11-19 (2005).
  29. W.-C. Chen, C. Lee, C.-Y. Wu, W. Fang, "A new latched 2 $\times$ 2 optical switch using bi-directional movable electrothermal H-beam actuators," Sens. Actuators A, Phys. 123/124, 563-569 (2005).

2006 (1)

C. Lee, "MOEMS variable optical attenuator with improved dynamic characteristics based on robust design," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 18, 773-775 (2006).

2005 (8)

C. Lee, "Monolithic-integrated 8CH MEMS variable optical attenuators," Sens. Actuators A, Phys. 123/124, 596-601 (2005).

C. Lee, "Arrayed variable optical attenuator using retro-reflective MEMS mirrors," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 2640-2642 (2005).

C. Lee, "Variable optical attenuator using planar light attenuation scheme based on rotational and translational misalignment," Microsyst. Technol. 13, 41-48 (2005).

C. Lee, C.-Y. Wu, "Study of electrothermal V-beam actuators and latched mechanism for optical switch," J. Micromech. Microeng. 15, 11-19 (2005).

W.-C. Chen, C. Lee, C.-Y. Wu, W. Fang, "A new latched 2 $\times$ 2 optical switch using bi-directional movable electrothermal H-beam actuators," Sens. Actuators A, Phys. 123/124, 563-569 (2005).

M. Yano, F. Yamagishi, T. Tsuda, "Optical MEMS for photonic switching—Compact and stable optical crossconnect switches for simple, fast, and flexible wavelength applications in recent photonic networks," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 11, 383-394 (2005).

H. Cai, X. M. Zhang, C. Lu, A. Q. Liu, E. H. Khoo, "Linear MEMS variable optical attenuator using reflective elliptical mirror," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 402-404 (2005).

C.-H. Kim, Y.-K. Kim, "MEMS variable optical attenuator using translation motion of 45$^{\circ}$ tilted vertical mirror," J. Micromech. Microeng. 15, 1466-1475 (2005).

2004 (10)

T.-S. Lim, C.-H. Ji, C.-H. Oh, H. Kwon, Y. Yee, J. U. Bu, "Electrostatic MEMS variable optical attenuator with rotating folded micromirror," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 10, 558-562 (2004).

C. Lee, Y.-S. Lin, "A new micromechanism for transformation of small displacements to large rotations for a VOA," IEEE Sensors J. 4, 503-509 (2004).

J. C. Chiou, W. T. Lin, "Variable optical attenuator using a thermal actuator array with dual shutters," Opt. Commun. 237, 341-350 (2004).

R. R. A. Syms, H. Zou, J. Stagg, H. Veladi, "Sliding-blade MEMS iris and variable optical attenuator," J. Micromech. Microeng. 14, 1700-1710 (2004).

Y. Y. Kim, S. S. Yun, C. S. Park, J.-H. Lee, Y. G. Lee, H. K. Lee, S. K. Yoon, J. S. Kang, "Refractive variable optical attenuator fabricated by silicon deep reactive ion etching," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 485-487 (2004).

A. Bashir, P. Katila, N. Ogier, B. Saadany, D. A. Khalil, "A MEMS-based VOA with very low PDL," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 1047-1049 (2004).

C. Chen, C. Lee, J. A. Yeh, "Retro-reflection type MOEMS VOA," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 2290-2292 (2004).

J. E. Ford, K. W. Goossen, J. A. Walker, D. T. Neilson, D. M. Tennant, S. Y. Park, J. W. Sulhoff, "Interference-based micromechanical spectral equalizers," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 10, 579-587 (2004).

K. Isamoto, K. Kato, A. Morosawa, C. Chong, H. Fujita, H. Toshiyoshi, "A 5-V operated MEMS variable optical attenuator by SOI bulk micromachining," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 10, 570-578 (2004).

G. Wu, A. R. Mirza, S. K. Gamage, L. Ukrainczyk, N. Shashidhar, G. Wruck, M. Ruda, "Design and use of compact lensed fibers for low cost packaging of optical MEMS components," J. Micromech. Microeng. 14, 1367-1375 (2004).

2003 (4)

A. Q. Liu, X. M. Zhang, C. Lu, F. Wang, C. Lu, Z. S. Liu, "Optical and mechanical models for a variable optical attenuator using a micromirror drawbridge," J. Micromech. Microeng. 13, 400-411 (2003).

X. M. Zhang, A. Q. Liu, C. Lu, F. Wang, Z. S. Liu, "Polysilicon micromachined fiber-optical attenuator for DWDM applications," Sens. Actuators A, Phys. 108, 28-35 (2003).

C. Chen, C. Lee, Y.-J. Lai, W.-C. Chen, "Development and application of lateral comb drive actuator," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 1, Regul. Rap. Short Notes 42, 4067-4073 (2003).

C. Chen, C. Lee, Y.-J. Lai, "Novel VOA using in-plane reflective micromirror and off-axis light attenuation," IEEE Commun. Mag. 41, S16-S20 (2003).

2002 (2)

L. Y. Lin, E. L. Goldstein, "Opportunities and challenges for MEMS in lightwave communications," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 8, 163-172 (2002).

X. M. Zhang, A. Q. Liu, C. Lu, D. Y. Tang, "MEMS variable optical attenuator using low driving voltage for DWDM systems," Electron. Lett. 38, 382-383 (2002).

1999 (1)

C. Marxer, P. Griss, N. F. de Rooij, "A variable optical attenuator based on silicon micromechanics," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 11, 233-235 (1999).

1998 (2)

B. Barber, C. R. Giles, V. Askyuk, R. Ruel, L. Stulz, D. Bishop, "A fiber connectorized MEMS variable optical attenuator," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 10, 1262-1264 (1998).

J. E. Ford, J. A. Walker, "Dynamic spectral power equalization using micro-opto-mechanics," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 10, 1440-1442 (1998).

Electron. Lett. (1)

X. M. Zhang, A. Q. Liu, C. Lu, D. Y. Tang, "MEMS variable optical attenuator using low driving voltage for DWDM systems," Electron. Lett. 38, 382-383 (2002).

IEEE Commun. Mag. (1)

C. Chen, C. Lee, Y.-J. Lai, "Novel VOA using in-plane reflective micromirror and off-axis light attenuation," IEEE Commun. Mag. 41, S16-S20 (2003).

IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. (5)

T.-S. Lim, C.-H. Ji, C.-H. Oh, H. Kwon, Y. Yee, J. U. Bu, "Electrostatic MEMS variable optical attenuator with rotating folded micromirror," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 10, 558-562 (2004).

K. Isamoto, K. Kato, A. Morosawa, C. Chong, H. Fujita, H. Toshiyoshi, "A 5-V operated MEMS variable optical attenuator by SOI bulk micromachining," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 10, 570-578 (2004).

L. Y. Lin, E. L. Goldstein, "Opportunities and challenges for MEMS in lightwave communications," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 8, 163-172 (2002).

J. E. Ford, K. W. Goossen, J. A. Walker, D. T. Neilson, D. M. Tennant, S. Y. Park, J. W. Sulhoff, "Interference-based micromechanical spectral equalizers," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 10, 579-587 (2004).

M. Yano, F. Yamagishi, T. Tsuda, "Optical MEMS for photonic switching—Compact and stable optical crossconnect switches for simple, fast, and flexible wavelength applications in recent photonic networks," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 11, 383-394 (2005).

IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett (1)

J. A. Yeh, S.-S. Jiang, C. Lee, "MOEMS VOA using rotary comb drive actuators," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett to be published.

IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. (9)

Y. Y. Kim, S. S. Yun, C. S. Park, J.-H. Lee, Y. G. Lee, H. K. Lee, S. K. Yoon, J. S. Kang, "Refractive variable optical attenuator fabricated by silicon deep reactive ion etching," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 485-487 (2004).

A. Bashir, P. Katila, N. Ogier, B. Saadany, D. A. Khalil, "A MEMS-based VOA with very low PDL," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 1047-1049 (2004).

C. Chen, C. Lee, J. A. Yeh, "Retro-reflection type MOEMS VOA," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 2290-2292 (2004).

H. Cai, X. M. Zhang, C. Lu, A. Q. Liu, E. H. Khoo, "Linear MEMS variable optical attenuator using reflective elliptical mirror," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 402-404 (2005).

B. Barber, C. R. Giles, V. Askyuk, R. Ruel, L. Stulz, D. Bishop, "A fiber connectorized MEMS variable optical attenuator," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 10, 1262-1264 (1998).

J. E. Ford, J. A. Walker, "Dynamic spectral power equalization using micro-opto-mechanics," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 10, 1440-1442 (1998).

C. Marxer, P. Griss, N. F. de Rooij, "A variable optical attenuator based on silicon micromechanics," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 11, 233-235 (1999).

C. Lee, "MOEMS variable optical attenuator with improved dynamic characteristics based on robust design," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 18, 773-775 (2006).

C. Lee, "Arrayed variable optical attenuator using retro-reflective MEMS mirrors," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 2640-2642 (2005).

IEEE Sensors J. (1)

C. Lee, Y.-S. Lin, "A new micromechanism for transformation of small displacements to large rotations for a VOA," IEEE Sensors J. 4, 503-509 (2004).

J. Micromech. Microeng. (5)

C.-H. Kim, Y.-K. Kim, "MEMS variable optical attenuator using translation motion of 45$^{\circ}$ tilted vertical mirror," J. Micromech. Microeng. 15, 1466-1475 (2005).

A. Q. Liu, X. M. Zhang, C. Lu, F. Wang, C. Lu, Z. S. Liu, "Optical and mechanical models for a variable optical attenuator using a micromirror drawbridge," J. Micromech. Microeng. 13, 400-411 (2003).

G. Wu, A. R. Mirza, S. K. Gamage, L. Ukrainczyk, N. Shashidhar, G. Wruck, M. Ruda, "Design and use of compact lensed fibers for low cost packaging of optical MEMS components," J. Micromech. Microeng. 14, 1367-1375 (2004).

C. Lee, C.-Y. Wu, "Study of electrothermal V-beam actuators and latched mechanism for optical switch," J. Micromech. Microeng. 15, 11-19 (2005).

R. R. A. Syms, H. Zou, J. Stagg, H. Veladi, "Sliding-blade MEMS iris and variable optical attenuator," J. Micromech. Microeng. 14, 1700-1710 (2004).

Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 1, Regul. Rap. Short Notes (1)

C. Chen, C. Lee, Y.-J. Lai, W.-C. Chen, "Development and application of lateral comb drive actuator," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 1, Regul. Rap. Short Notes 42, 4067-4073 (2003).

Microsyst. Technol. (1)

C. Lee, "Variable optical attenuator using planar light attenuation scheme based on rotational and translational misalignment," Microsyst. Technol. 13, 41-48 (2005).

Opt. Commun. (1)

J. C. Chiou, W. T. Lin, "Variable optical attenuator using a thermal actuator array with dual shutters," Opt. Commun. 237, 341-350 (2004).

Sens. Actuators A, Phys. (3)

X. M. Zhang, A. Q. Liu, C. Lu, F. Wang, Z. S. Liu, "Polysilicon micromachined fiber-optical attenuator for DWDM applications," Sens. Actuators A, Phys. 108, 28-35 (2003).

C. Lee, "Monolithic-integrated 8CH MEMS variable optical attenuators," Sens. Actuators A, Phys. 123/124, 596-601 (2005).

W.-C. Chen, C. Lee, C.-Y. Wu, W. Fang, "A new latched 2 $\times$ 2 optical switch using bi-directional movable electrothermal H-beam actuators," Sens. Actuators A, Phys. 123/124, 563-569 (2005).

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