Abstract

Flexible and wearable optoelectronic devices are the new trend for an active lifestyle. These devices are polymer-based for flexibility. We demonstrated flexible polymer waveguide optical switches for a flexible photonic integrated circuit. The optical switches are composed of a single-mode inverted waveguide with dimensions of 5 μm waveguide width, 3 μm ridge height, and 3 μm slab height. A Mach–Zehnder structure was used in the device, with the Y-branch horizontal length of 0.1 cm, the distance between two heating branches of 30 μm, and the heating branch length of 1 cm. The optical field of the device was simulated by beam propagation to optimize the electrode position. The switching properties of the flexible optical switch with different working conditions, such as contact to the polymer, silicon, and skin, were simulated. The device was prepared based on the photo curved polymer and lithography method. The end faces of the flexible film device were processed using an excimer laser with optimized parameters of 28  mJ/cm2 and 15 Hz. The response rise time and fall time on the PMMA substrate were measured as 1.98 ms and 2.71 ms, respectively. The power consumption was 16 mW and the extinction ratio was 11 dB. The response rise and fall times on the Si substrate were measured as 1.08 ms and 1.62 ms, respectively. The power consumption was 17 mW and the extinction ratio was 11 dB. The demonstrated properties indicate that this flexible optical waveguide structure can be used in the light control area of a wearable device.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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