Wide-range linear attenuation via elliptical mirror for variable attenuator application

H. Cai, Xuming Zhang, Chao Lu, A. Q. Liu, E. H. Khoo

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes an improved design of variable optical attenuator (VOA) using a micromachined elliptical mirror as the movable reflector. We compared the attenuation performances of the three different types of VOAs, which were fabricated by the same deep reactive ion etching process. It is noticed that the proposed VOA (EVOA) has superior performance than the common shutter-type VOA (SVOA) and the flat-mirror reflection-type VOA (FVOA). Based on the focus property of the ellipse, this reflectiontype EVOA enjoys low insertion loss while using the normally-cleaved single mode fibers. It achieves a large attenuation of 44 dB at 10.7 V driving voltage. The PDL is 0.8 dB at the 40 dB attenuation level and the WDL is 1.2 dB at the 20 dB level for 100 nm wavelength change. More importantly, the attenuation increases nearly linearly with the mirror displacement. The EVOA also has low polarization dependence loss (PDL), low wavelength dependence loss (WDL) and low back reflection.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberMP8
Pages (from-to)84-87
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS)
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event18th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, MEMS 2005 Miami - Miami Beach, FL, United States
Duration: 30 Jan 20053 Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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