A unique all-optic switch based on an innovatively designed liquid crystal waveguide

Sung Hyun Nam, Wei Hung Su, Jesus Chavez, Shizhuo Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A unique, all-optic switch based on an innovatively designed planar lightwave circuit (PLC) is presented in this paper. The switching function is achieved by using ultra large birefringence of nematic liquid crystals (NLC) filled at the trench of waveguides. The trench at the crossing forms a waveguide mirror or a matching medium when extraordinary and ordinary refractive indices of NLC are employed, respectively. The major advantages of our unique design are: (1) the limitation that refractive index of liquid crystal must be less than that of waveguide material itself is eliminated so that conventional NCL material such as E7 can be used; (2) it is a self aligned fabrication process that alleviates the tight tolerance of lateral tilt error; (3) the design is thermally stable. The successful fabrication of this unique switch could result in an enabling element for the next generation all-optic networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-298
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2003
EventPhotorefractive Fiber and Crystal Devices: Materials, Optical Properties, and Applications IX - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 3 2003Aug 4 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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