Optofluidic Waveguides for Reconfigurable Photonic Systems

Period of Performance: 03/16/2010 - 03/16/2012


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

2438 Slaterville Road
Slaterville Springs, NY 14881
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Cornell University
426 Phillips Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Institution POC


In this Phase I STTR, Illuminaria, in collaboration with Professor Erickson s Laboratory at Cornell University, designed and developed a practical liquid based reconfigurable photonic device photonic switch using low voltage microfluidic pumps and microfabricated optofluidic waveguides. Briefly, the basic element of this approach comprises a stream of high index of refraction liquid (core) microfluidically focused down to a narrow stream between two lower index of refraction liquids (cladding). When light is coupled into the system it remains confined within the liquid core through total internal reflection. Once confined, the light can be indiscriminately manipulated by adjusting the flow rates of the cladding streams resulting in an infinitely reconfigurable independent of the underlying optical structure. BENEFIT: Illuminaria and Cornell University are poised to leverage the results of our Phase I accomplishments in the successful development of a Phase II optofluidic switch to be commercialized in the Phase III work. We are collaborating with Dr. Anguel Nikolov from PhotonIC Corporation (Los Angeles, CA) and Paul Tolley from the Infotonics Technology center on the commercialization of this technology. The overall goal of the Phase II technical objectives is to increase the commercial viability of the technique. The optofluidic switches would have numerous commercial applications which include secure optical communications, isolated power solutions for defense and security systems, configurable optical add/drop multiplexing, protection switching and network monitoring.