Abstract

Electrically controlled fiber variable-optical-attenuator arrays with polymer-network liquid crystals are shown to be compact and to have a large attenuation range (30–40 dB) and low residual loss (0.55 dB) at wavelengths from 1.3 to 1.6 µm. Their estimated power consumption is very low (<30 nW/channel), and arrays with more than ten channels can be made. The manufacturing process is simple: Trenches 30–100 µm wide are cut across parallel conductive-layer-coated optical fibers and are filled with a polymer-network liquid crystal. The attenuation properties depend on UV-curing conditions and on trench width.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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