Retro-axial VOA using parabolic mirror pair

Xuming Zhang, A. Q. Liu, H. Cai, A. B. Yu, Chao Lu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This letter presents a design of a microelectromechanical systems variable optical attenuator (VOA) that employs a pair of parabolic mirrors as the retro-reflector, which has obtained a linear relationship over a 62-dB range between the attenuation (in decibels) and the mirror rotation angle (in degrees). The insertion loss measures 0.6 dB thanks to the three-dimentional optical coupling design. The linearity comes from the simultaneous shift and defocus of the laser beam. Compared with the conventional coaxial and cross-axial VOAs, such retro-axial design has the two fibers arranged on the same side and thus facilitates the use of standard packaging formats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-694
Number of pages3
JournalIEEE Photonics Technology Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007


  • Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
  • Optical attenuator (VOA)
  • Parabolic micromirror

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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