Polymeric Waveguide Optical Switch Using Rotary Drive Mechanism

Toshitsugu UESUGI  Shiho ZAIZEN  Atsushi SUGITATSU  Tatsuo HATTA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E91-C   No.7   pp.1117-1120
Publication Date: 2008/07/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1093/ietele/e91-c.7.1117
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Joint Special Section on Opto-electronics and Communications toward NGN and beyond)
optical switch,  polymeric waveguide,  rotary drive,  structural analysis,  

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We propose a polymeric waveguide optical switch using a novel drive mechanism. The switch uses a flexible polymeric waveguide film where trenches are formed at cross-points of the waveguides. Light passes through the trench while it is closed. When the trench opens, light path changes by total internal reflection between the air gap and the polymeric waveguide. Therefore, we can control light paths by changing the trench state between closed and open one. In order to realize this, a rotating arm is inserted near the trench. As rotational force transfers to the trench through the arm and the film, the trench switches from closed to open state and vice versa. We investigated this rotary drive mechanism by three-dimensional (3D) structural analysis, designed the optical switch, and experimentally demonstrated the switching operation.