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Radio Science

Optically activated switch/modulator using a photoconductor and two channel waveguides


  • Lew Goldberg,

  • Sing H. Lee


An optically activated switch was fabricated on LiNbO3 substrate by deposition of photoconductor-metal electrode structure on two channel waveguides obtained by the outdiffusion process. One waveguide was overcoated with a CdS film, and served as a light detector which converted the optical signal in that waveguide into an electrical signal. Utilizing the electrooptic effect, this electrical signal modulated the light propagating in the second waveguide by changing the refractive index, and the cutoff condition, of the waveguiding channel between two metal electrodes. (The second waveguide and associated electrodes constituted an electrically activated electrooptic modulator.) The waveguides in the optically controlled switch can be either single or multimode. The length of the device can be short in comparison with other switching schemes. When binary optical signals are applied to the two waveguides, the switch can perform logic AND, NEGATION, OR and pseudo-amplification operations.

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