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Optical switches made of plastic-key components in the telecom networks of the future

: Keil, N.

Nachrichtentechnische Zeitschrift : NTZ 48 (1995), Nr.12, S.36-41
ISSN: 0027-707X
Fraunhofer HHI ()
integrated optics; optical directional couplers; optical switches; plastics; thermo-optical effects; plastic; integrated optical components; optical transparent communication network; spatial switch matrix; thermo-optical control; polymer technology; deutsche telekom; directional coupler switches

Conventional semiconductor materials are encountering competition from plastics for integrated optical components. The author's Institute is investigating the properties of a future optical transparent communication network. Important functional elements within a network node are spatial switches, which direct high-bit-rate data signals to the selected exit fibres. The world's first microprocessor-controlled 4.4 spatial switch matrix with thermo-optical control in polymer technology has been developed to the order of Deutsche Telekom, with eight 2.2 directional coupler switches integrated on an area of 40*2 mm.