Light switching via thermo-optic effect of micromachined silicon prism

J. Li, A. Q. Liu, Xuming Zhang, T. Zhong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This letter presents an optical switch using total internal reflection (TIR) via thermo-optic effect (TOE). The switching function is obtained by changing the refractive index of silicon prism via TOE to switch the light across the TIR state. The structure is fabricated by microelectromechanical systems technology. The switch measures a cross talk of >30 dB and an extinction ratio of >40 dB but exhibits high insertion losses of 31.67 and 18.95 dB in the TIR and transmission states, respectively. Compared with conventional micromechanical and light-tuned switches, this switch is unique in mechanism and free of mechanical instability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number243501
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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