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Micromachined SOI Digital Light Switch with Integrated CMOS Electronics

Objective

Over the past decade, telecom network systems have increased dramatically in capacity/speed due to rapid developments in technologies such as Micro-Optical-Mechanical Systems (MOEMs). New systems have emerged, which include AWG's (array wave-guide gratings) for Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) and OADM (Optical-Add-Drop-Multiplexers) for signal routing. However, as these systems evolve, there is a need for higher levels of functional integration of the mechanical/optical elements with their drive/sense electronic circuitry in order to decrease assembly costs and improve system performance. In this project, a novel optical transmission switch will be fabricated and the feasibility of monolithic integrating 'on-chip' both the mechanical actuating elements of the switch with it's CMOS drive circuitry will be assessed using Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology. The use of SOI, enables 'on-chip' electronic integration with greater functionality and performance for next generation system designs. Over the past decade, telecom network systems have increased dramatically in capacity/speed due to rapid developments in technologies such as Micro-Optical-Mechanical Systems (MOEMs). New systems have emerged, which include AWG's (array wave-guide gratings) for Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) and OADM (Optical-Add-Drop-Multiplexers) for signal routing. However, as these systems evolve, there is a need for higher levels of functional integration of the mechanical/optical elements with their drive/sense electronic circuitry in order to decrease assembly costs and improve system performance. In this project, a novel optical transmission switch will be fabricated and the feasibility of monolithic integrating 'on-chip' both the mechanical actuating elements of the switch with it's CMOS drive circuitry will be assessed using Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology. The use of SOI, enables 'on-chip' electronic integration with greater functionality and performance for next generation system designs.

OBJECTIVES
There are two primary objectives for this project:
1. Fabricate and test a novel optical switch architecture based on MOEMs-SOI technologies;
2. Investigate the feasibility for integrating 'on-chip' CMOS drive circuitry using CMOS-SOI technology.

The project therefore combines uniquely both MOEMs-SOI and CMOS-SOI technologies in order to realize a novel high performance monolithically integrated optical switch. The challenge therefore for this assessment will be how best to monolithically integrate the mechanical actuator elements with the drive electronic circuits for optimum performance using SOI technology. When completed this project will successfully demonstrate a novel transmission optical switch with the added value of full assessment for complete CMOS-SOI circuit integration. The latter will open up many opportunities for further device developments in this field.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The work for this project involves partnership between a Research Institute and an Industrial company. This partnership combines proven expertise, in CMOS-SOI and MEMs-SOI in order to integrate both specialist technologies for this project. For proof of switch concept itself and within the constraints of the project budget, a single demonstrator pixel element with simple metal drive electrodes will be fabricated and tested. This will involve simulating the design and extracting device performance using electro-micro-mechanical simulation models. This will enable the system to be designed and modelled prior to fabrication thereby reducing the no of fabrication cycles required. The device will then be subsequently fabricated using primarily Deep Reactive Ion Etch (DRIE) technology on SOI wafers.

Key to the success for the project, will in parallel be an assessment for integrating the CMOS circuitry to drive this device. This will involve developing a process flow, which combines SOI-MEMs/CMOS-MEMs processing together. Processing options, compromises and material systems needed as well as establishing a set of design rules will be established. In order to meet the performance criteria of the switch, device level and circuit layout based on high voltage CMOS integration on SOI will be developed. The work therefore will be truly collaborative and will involve detail understanding from both parties regarding their respective technology capabilities/processes in order to realize this device. In terms of deliverables, a functional prototype switch will be demonstrated. In addition, a document, which addresses the integration issues for high voltage CMOS-SOI circuitry, will be published.

Funding Scheme

ACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK - NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, CORK
Address
Western Road
Cork
Ireland

Participants (1)

BLUEBIRD OPTICAL MEMS LTD.
Israel
Address
10 Bluebird St.
30090 Isfiya