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

A. Duduś, R. Blue, M. Zagnoni, G. Stewart, D. Uttamchandani

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number021105
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number2
Early online date16 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • in-line broadband optical fiber
  • variable optical attenuators (VOAs)
  • optofluidics technology
  • miniaturised systems
  • optical communications

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