Elastomer based electrically tunable, optical microcavities

Irma Slowik, Nils Michael Kronenberg, Markus Franke, Axel Fischer, Andreas Richter, Malte Christian Gather, Karl Leo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Tunable optical elements are mostly realized by microelectromechanical systems, which require expensive and complex lithography during processing. We demonstrate an alternative device based on an electrically tunable
microcavity employing a dielectric soft elastomer actuator. The cavity resonance is varied by changing the physical cavity thickness due to electrostriction of the soft elastomer. We realize a tunable metal-elastomerDBR
multi-half wavelength microcavity with a cavity layer thickness around 12 µm and quality factors up to 700. Applying a voltage up to 60 V between bottom ITO and top metal electrode tunes the wavelength of the cavity modes up to ∆λ = 14 nm, which relates to a cavity thickness change of about 200 nm. This
concept allows the implementation of tunable optical elements like tunable filters or resonators with low cost and simple processing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number171104
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2016


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