Demonstration of an integrated optical switch in a silicon photonic crystal directional coupler

D. M. Beggs, T. P. White, L. Cairns, Liam O'Faolain, T. F. Krauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate a silicon photonic crystal (PhC) directional coupler optical switch. By engineering the supermodes of the coupled system to provide a slow-light region, the switch has a total length of just 4.9 mu m. Thermo-optic switching with a 20 mu s response time via an integrated nickel microheater is shown. The proposed switch uses a silica overlayer and infilling of the etched silicon PhC, rather than the more usual membrane slab geometry. The silica infilling and overlayer provides a vertically symmetric structure and is a more robust solution compared to the membrane geometry. We also show that there is no apparent increase in optical loss due to the silica overlayer, despite operating above the lightline: the insertion loss for the air-bridge and silica-embedded structures are comparable (at 1-2 dB). (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1114
Number of pages4
JournalPhysica E: Low-dimensional Systems and Nanostructures
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2009
EventE-MRS 2008 Symposium C: Frontiers in Silicon-Based Photonics - Strasbourg, France
Duration: 26 May 200829 May 2008


  • Optical switch
  • Integrated optics
  • Photonic band gap


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