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Waveguides Provide Multichannel Routing

Photonics Spectra
Aug 2002
Researchers from Friedrich Schiller Universität and Fraunhofer Institut für Angewandte Optik und Feinmechanik, both in Jena, Germany, have shown that thermo-optically controlled waveguide arrays can be used for multichannel routing. By controlling the transverse temperature gradient of the polymer waveguides, they manipulated the propagation constants to take advantage of discrete optical effects. These effects are largely created by the recently discovered Block oscillations that occur in linearly detuned arrays. As reported in the May 6 issue of Applied Physics Letters, the researchers have achieved routing of six channels; however, they expect that this performance can be dramatically improved. For example, a faster electro-optic scheme could replace the temperature detuning for better response times.

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