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Opt Express. 2010 Mar 29;18(7):7031-7. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.007031.

Phase-shifter using submicron silicon waveguide couplers with ultra-small electro-mechanical actuator.

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Department of Nanomechanics, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8579, Japan.


Phase shifter is an important part of optical waveguide circuits as used in interferometer. However, it is not always easy to generate a large phase shift in a small region. Here, a variable phase-shifter operating as delay-line of silicon waveguide was designed and fabricated by silicon micromachining. The proposed phase-shifter consists of a freestanding submicron-wide silicon waveguide with two waveguide couplers and an ultrasmall silicon comb-drive actuator. The position of the freestanding waveguide is moved by the actuator to vary the total optical path. Phase-shift was measured in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer to be 3.0pi at the displacement of 1.0 mum at the voltage of 31 V. The dimension of the fabricated device is 50microm wide and 85microm long.

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