Retro-reflection VOA using parabolic mirror for low insertion loss and linear attenuation relationship

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

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports a new design of MEMS variable optical attenuator (VOA) that makes use of a pair of parabolic mirrors as the retro-reflector in the horizontal plane and a normal fiber as the rod lens to focus in the vertical plane. It is advantageous over the conventional co-axial VOAs since it allows the fibers to be arranged in parallel and is thus convenient for the packaging. The parabolic mirrors improve the optical coupling and yield an insertion loss of only 1.4 dB even when only the normally-cleaved single mode fibers are used. The attenuation can go up to 63 dB when the mirror pair is rotated by 2.6 degrees. More importantly, a linear relationship is well maintained over the whole range, unlike the nonlinear relationship in many conventional VOAs. At the 20-dB level, the VOA measures a PDL of 0.2 dB and a WDL of 0.5 dB, which are superior to the typically values of 1-2 dB in the conventional VOAs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - CIS Workshops 2007, 2007 International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Security Workshops, CISW 2007
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event20th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, MEMS 2007 - Kobe, Japan
Duration: 21 Jan 200725 Jan 2007


Conference20th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, MEMS 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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