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Single mode fiber variable optical attenuator based on a ferrofluid shutter

Dudus, Anna Maria and Blue, Robert and Uttamchandani, Deepak (2015) Single mode fiber variable optical attenuator based on a ferrofluid shutter. Applied Optics, 54 (8). pp. 1952-1957. ISSN 1559-128X

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Abstract

We report on the fabrication and characterization of a single-mode fiber variable optical attenuator (VOA) based on a ferrofluid shutter actuated by a magnetic field created by a low voltage electromagnet. We compare the performance of a VOA using oil-based ferrofluid, with one VOA using water-based 12 ferrofluid, and demonstrate broadband optical attenuation of up to 28 dB with polarization dependent 13 loss of 0.85 dB. Our optofluidic VOA has advantages over MEMS-based VOAs such as simple construction and the absence of mechanical moving parts.