Electrostatic MEMS variable optical attenuator with rotating folded micromirror

Tae Sun Lim, Chang Hyeon Ji, Chang Hoon Oh, Hyouk Kwon, Youngjoo Yee, Jong Uk Bu

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43 Scopus citations


The design and fabrication of an electrostatic MEMS variable optical attenuator (VOA) is described. The VOA is a reflection type with a folded micromirror actuated by a comb-drive actuator. The VOA is fabricated by a simple single-mask process. One photolithography and subsequent deep silicon reactive ion etching define all the microstructures of the VOA. The folded micromirror structure can reduce the overall size of the device by enabling the parallel alignment of an input fiber and an output fiber. Lensed fibers are used to maximize the coupling efficiency and the ease of assembly. The electrooptic characteristics and dynamic characteristics of fabricated VOA are measured. The initial insertion loss is 0.5 dB at 1550 nm and the maximum attenuation is 45 dB, respectively. The polarization dependent loss is measured to be 0.2 dB at 20-dB attenuation. The response time for maximum attenuation is less than 5 ms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-562
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Comb-drive actuator
  • Electrostatic actuation
  • Reflection type
  • Variable optical attenuator (VOA)


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