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.
- optical attenuation
- ferrofluid shutter