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Nano-stepper driven optical shutter for applications in free-space micro-optics

Zawadzka, J. and Li, L. and Unamuno, A. and Uttamchandani, D.G. (2002) Nano-stepper driven optical shutter for applications in free-space micro-optics. In: Conference on MEMS/MOEMS Technologies and Applications, 2002-10-17 - 2002-10-18.

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Abstract

In this paper we report a simple design of a micro-optical shutter/attenuator. The standard MUMPS process was used to fabricate the device. A vertically erected, gold-coated, 200x300 mum side length micro-mirror was precisely placed between the end faces of two closely spaced optical fibers. The position of the micro-mirror with respect to the optical fiber end face was controlled by a nano-stepping motor array. Optical and mechanical tests were performed on the device. A 1.55 mum laser beam was sent along the optical fiber. When the micro-mirror was removed from the front of the fiber, the coupling efficiency between two fibers was -10 dBm. Once the micro-mirror was placed in the optical path the coupling efficiency dropped to -51.5 dBm. The best attenuation was obtained when the micro-mirror blocked the whole cross-section of the laser beam diameter. It is evident that the device can operate as a high precision fiber optic attenuator or shutter.