An optical switch is formed by introducing light lengthwise to a microcantilever waveguide directed toward a second waveguide. The microcantilever is caused to bend by light emitted from a laser diode orthogonal to the microcantilever and at an energy above the band gap, which induces stress as a result of the generation of free carriers. The bending of the waveguide directs the carrier frequency light to a second receptor waveguide or to a non-responsive surface. The switch may be combined in an array to perform multiple switching functions rapidly and at low energy losses.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The U.S. Government has rights in this invention pursuant to contract number DE-AC 05-960R22460 between Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation and the Department of Energy.