Integrated MEMS-tunable VCSELs for reconfigurable optical interconnects
Paper in proceedings, 2012
A simple and low-cost technology for tunable vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) with curved movable micromirror is presented. The micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) is integrated with the active optical component (so-called half-VCSEL) by means of surface-micromachining, using a reflown photoresist droplet as sacrificial layer. The technology is demonstrated for electrically pumped, short-wavelength (850nm) tunable VCSEts. Fabricated devices with 10 mu m oxide aperture are singlemode with sidemode suppression >35 dB, tunable over 24 mit with output power up to 0.5 mW, and have a beam divergence angle <6 degrees. An improved high-speed design with redneed parasitic capaciLt-triCe enables direct modulaion WiLh 3dB-bandwidths up to 6 GHz mid error-free data transmission at 5 Gbit/s. The modulation response of the MEMS under elect rothermal actuation has a bandwidth of 400Hz corresponding to switching times of about 10ms. The thermal crosstalk between MEMS and half-VCSEL is negligible and not degrading the device performance. With these characteristics the integrated MEMS-tunable VCSELs are basically suitable for use in reconfigurable optical interconnects and ready for test in a prototype system. Schemes for improving output power, tuning speed, and modulation bandwidth are briefly discussed.
surface-emitting laser (VCSEL)
reconfigurable optical interconnects
micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)