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Thermo-optic devices on polymer platform

: Zhang, Z.; Keil, N.


Optics communications 362 (2016), S.101-114
ISSN: 0030-4018
Fraunhofer HHI ()

Optical polymers possess in general relatively high thermo-optic coefficients and at the same time low thermal conductivity, both of which make them attractive material candidates for realizing highly efficient thermally tunable devices. Over the years, various thermo-optic components have been demonstrated on polymer platform, covering (1) tunable reflectors and filters as part of a laser cavity, (2) variable optical attenuators (VOAs) as light amplitude regulators in e.g. a coherent receiver, and (3) thermo-optic switches (TOSs) allowing multi-flow control in the photonic integrated circuits (PICs). This work attempts to review the recent progress on the above mentioned three component branches, including linearly and differentially tunable filters, VOAs based on 1×1 multimode interference structure (MMI) and Mach–Zehnder interferometer (MZI), and 1×2 TOS based on waveguide Y-branch, driven by a pair of sidelong placed heater electrodes. These thermo-optic components can well be integrated into larger PICs: the dual-polarization switchable tunable laser and the colorless optical 90° hybrid are presented in the end as examples.