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Demonstration of a MEMS Tunable



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1438 IEEE PHOTONICS TECHNOLOGY LETTERS VOL 16 NO 6 JUNE 2004 First Demonstration of a MEMS Tunable Vertical Cavity SOA Qi Chen Garrett D Cole E Staffan Bj rlin Member IEEE Toshio Kimura Shaomin Wu Chad S Wang Student Member IEEE Noel C MacDonald Fellow IEEE and John E Bowers Fellow IEEE Abstract We present the first microelectromechanical tunable vertical cavity semiconductor optical amplifier The device operates in the long wavelength range and exhibits a minimum of 10 dB of device gain through 11 nm of tuning Index Terms Laser amplifiers microelectromechanical MEMS devices optical pumping semiconductor optical amplifiers SOAs surface emitting lasers tunable amplifiers I INTRODUCTION L ONG WAVELENGTH vertical cavity semiconductor optical amplifiers VCSOAs are attractive as a low cost alternative to erbium doped fiber amplifiers and conventional in plane SOAs for applications in metro area networks and fiber to the home Due to the vertical cavity geometry VCSOAs enjoy benefits such as high fiber coupling efficiency polarization independent gain the potential to fabricate two dimensional arrays and the ability to test devices on wafer In recent years both optically and electrically pumped long wavelength VCSOAs have been demonstrated 1 4 As shown previously the high finesse Fabry P rot FP cavity of fixed wavelength VCSOAs results in a narrow gain bandwidth 1 This inherent filtering effect is advantageous for preamplifier applications as it eliminates out of band noise and provides channel selection in multiwavelength systems 2 In order to make VCSOAs more flexible for such applications tunable devices must be developed Previously temperature tuning of long wavelength VCSOAs has been investigated 4 but a more promising method is microelectromechanical MEMS tuning In this case mechanical alteration of the effective FP mode gives rise to tuning ranges greater than those that can be achieved by refractive index modulation The use of MEMS tuning is a popular mechanism for



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