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Photo-induced micro-mechanical optical switch

United States Patent

May 7, 2002
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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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.
Rajic; Slobodan (Knoxville, TN), Datskos; Panagiotis George (Knoxville, TN), Egert; Charles M. (late of Oak Ridge, TN)
U.T. Battelle LLC (Oak Ridge, TN)
09/ 280,039
March 26, 1999
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.