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In-line single-mode fiber variable optical attenuator based on electrically addressable microdroplets

Duduś, A. and Blue, R. and Zagnoni, M. and Stewart, G. and Uttamchandani, D. (2014) In-line single-mode fiber variable optical attenuator based on electrically addressable microdroplets. Applied Physics Letters, 105 (2). ISSN 0003-6951

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We report an in-line, fiber optic, broadband variable optical attenuator employing a side-polished, single-mode optical fiber integrated on a digital microfluidics platform. The system is designed to electrically translate a liquid droplet along the polished surface of an optical fiber using electrowetting forces. This fiber optic device has the advantage of no moving mechanical parts and lends itself to miniaturization. A maximum attenuation of 25 dB has been obtained in the wavelength range between 1520 nm and 1560 nm.