Integration of thin film photonic devices onto micromachined movable platforms
Movable micromachined platforms have been demonstrated previously by this group. These devices are constructed of polyimide, a flexible material with excellent micromachining properties. The structure employs a deposited sacrificial layer that is etched away after the structure is completed so that the platform is suspended above an array of actuation strips. The thin film semiconductor photonic devices used in this work were AlGaAs/GaAs/AlGaAs double heterostructure p-i-n devices. These high quality single crystal structures were grown lattice matched on top of a sacrificial AlAs layer which had been grown lattice matched to a GaAs substrate. We have successfully demonstrated that semiconductor photonic device structures can be combined with standard micromachined devices resulting in a manufacturable micro-opto-mechanical system, which is a first step towards an integrated emitter/fiber or detector/fiber alignment system.