Google Patent | MEMS steering mirrors for applications in photonic integrated circuits

Patent: MEMS steering mirrors for applications in photonic integrated circuits

Publication Number: 10146020

Publication Date: 2018-12-04

Applicants: Google LLC

Abstract

An integrated optical assembly includes an optics mount. The optics mount has disposed thereon a light source for providing a beam of light and a lens configured to focus the beam of light. The integrated optical assembly includes a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) mechanically coupled to the optics mount. The PIC has disposed thereon a grating coupler for receiving the beam of light and coupling the beam of light into a waveguide. The integrated optical assembly includes a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) mirror configured to receive the beam of light from the lens and redirect it towards the grating coupler. A position of a reflective portion of the MEMS mirror is adjustable to affect an angle of incidence of the beam of light on the grating coupler.

BACKGROUND 

Optical communications use modulated light beams to convey information through optical fibers, free space, or waveguides. A beam of light can be modulated either directly by modulating current to a light source, or externally by using an optical modulator to modulate a continuous-wave light beam produced by the light source. External modulation has advantages in that it can handle higher power and frequencies; however, the required components can be larger, more complex, and more expensive.

SUMMARY 

At least one aspect is directed to an integrated optical assembly. The integrated optical assembly includes an optics mount having disposed thereon a light source for providing a beam of light and a lens configured to focus the beam of light. The integrated optical assembly includes a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) mechanically coupled to the optics mount and having disposed thereon a grating coupler for receiving the beam of light and coupling the beam of light into a waveguide. The integrated optical assembly includes a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) mirror configured to receive the beam of light from the lens and redirect it towards the grating coupler. A position of a reflective portion of the MEMS mirror is adjustable to affect an angle of incidence of the beam of light on the grating coupler.

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