United States Patent Number: 6,658,172 B1, December 2, 2003. 40 pages. Also available from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Website: http://www.uspto.gov.
An optical system and method are disclosed for multiplexing or de-multiplexing channels within a wavelength band. The optical signals carried on the system comprise separate channels 1 through n, each having a unique passband and a center wavelength spaced from the center wavelength of adjacent channels by d nm. The signals are semi-multiplexed, demultiplexed, or semi-demultiplexed by an interleaver comprising optically matched and directly optically coupled etalons. Periodic spectral passbands of width less than d nm, spaced from each other a distance of zd, where z is an integer greater than or equal to 3, are substantially transmitted through the interleaver. At least one of the etalons is a bulk optic etalon and comprises first and second selectively transparent thin film mirror coatings on opposite surfaces of a bulk optic that defines the cavity spacing of that etalon.
Electrical and Computer Engineering