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Towards high-speed liquid crystal electrically tunable planar Bragg gratings for integrated optical networks

Towards high-speed liquid crystal electrically tunable planar Bragg gratings for integrated optical networks
Towards high-speed liquid crystal electrically tunable planar Bragg gratings for integrated optical networks
Liquid crystal-based integrated optical devices offer the potential for high speed and dynamically tunable optical switches in modern telecommunications networks. Here, electrically tunable devices have major advantages over their thermal counterparts, with superior response times and low operating voltages (~100V). Our approach to achieving such devices is to fabricate planar optical waveguides with integrated Bragg gratings via direct UV writing1 into silica-on-silicon samples with evanescent field coupling into a liquid crystal overlay through an etched window (Fig. 1(a)). Such electrically tunable devices work on the principle of shifting the Bragg wavelength by modifying the effective index of a waveguide in a multilayer substrate. Electrically controlled liquid crystal birefringence modifies the waveguide effective index, producing a Bragg wavelength shift. In our early samples, Merck 18523 nematic liquid crystal is used as it has a compatible refractive index to silica (n=1.49 at lambda=1550nm). Homeotropic alignment of the liquid crystal is provided by application of a surfactant layer.
Snow, Benjamin D.
cd694459-eea2-4735-bce5-3e516ff4825a
Adikan, F.R.Mahamd
c553a74d-67f4-4566-b227-0890bdcb19c3
Dyadyusha, Andriy
daa939a8-2860-4a31-ab12-7950bf59aeef
Gates, James C.
b71e31a1-8caa-477e-8556-b64f6cae0dc2
Major, Huw E.
b6df0066-f28b-498f-b606-bf3f4421fa94
Gawith, Corin B.E.
926665c0-84c7-4a1d-ae19-ee6d7d14c43e
Kaczmarek, Malgosia
408ec59b-8dba-41c1-89d0-af846d1bf327
Smith, Peter G.R.
8979668a-8b7a-4838-9a74-1a7cfc6665f6
Snow, Benjamin D.
cd694459-eea2-4735-bce5-3e516ff4825a
Adikan, F.R.Mahamd
c553a74d-67f4-4566-b227-0890bdcb19c3
Dyadyusha, Andriy
daa939a8-2860-4a31-ab12-7950bf59aeef
Gates, James C.
b71e31a1-8caa-477e-8556-b64f6cae0dc2
Major, Huw E.
b6df0066-f28b-498f-b606-bf3f4421fa94
Gawith, Corin B.E.
926665c0-84c7-4a1d-ae19-ee6d7d14c43e
Kaczmarek, Malgosia
408ec59b-8dba-41c1-89d0-af846d1bf327
Smith, Peter G.R.
8979668a-8b7a-4838-9a74-1a7cfc6665f6

Snow, Benjamin D., Adikan, F.R.Mahamd, Dyadyusha, Andriy, Gates, James C., Major, Huw E., Gawith, Corin B.E., Kaczmarek, Malgosia and Smith, Peter G.R. (2007) Towards high-speed liquid crystal electrically tunable planar Bragg gratings for integrated optical networks. 21st Annual Conference British Liquid Crystal Society (BLCS 2007). 28 - 30 Mar 2007.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Liquid crystal-based integrated optical devices offer the potential for high speed and dynamically tunable optical switches in modern telecommunications networks. Here, electrically tunable devices have major advantages over their thermal counterparts, with superior response times and low operating voltages (~100V). Our approach to achieving such devices is to fabricate planar optical waveguides with integrated Bragg gratings via direct UV writing1 into silica-on-silicon samples with evanescent field coupling into a liquid crystal overlay through an etched window (Fig. 1(a)). Such electrically tunable devices work on the principle of shifting the Bragg wavelength by modifying the effective index of a waveguide in a multilayer substrate. Electrically controlled liquid crystal birefringence modifies the waveguide effective index, producing a Bragg wavelength shift. In our early samples, Merck 18523 nematic liquid crystal is used as it has a compatible refractive index to silica (n=1.49 at lambda=1550nm). Homeotropic alignment of the liquid crystal is provided by application of a surfactant layer.

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More information

Published date: 2007
Venue - Dates: 21st Annual Conference British Liquid Crystal Society (BLCS 2007), 2007-03-28 - 2007-03-30

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 65758
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/65758
PURE UUID: 1696494e-6d1f-4ece-ae60-302b165fb9ce
ORCID for James C. Gates: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8671-5987
ORCID for Corin B.E. Gawith: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3502-3558

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Date deposited: 24 Mar 2009
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:52

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Contributors

Author: Benjamin D. Snow
Author: F.R.Mahamd Adikan
Author: Andriy Dyadyusha
Author: James C. Gates ORCID iD
Author: Huw E. Major

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