Abstract

We present a low-cost, reconfigurable, parallel optofluidic switch that exploits the optical and magnetic properties of water-based ferrofluid. Each switch is composed of an integrated waveguide orthogonally crossing a microfluidic channel containing high-index oil and a ferrofluid plug. The switch is turned ON or OFF by movement of the ferrofluid plug. In contrast to conventional integrated switches, ferrofluid plugs act as switching mechanisms that are portable and reconfigurable. Switches are demonstrated in parallel geometries for single and multimode waveguides. Possible applications include optofluidic memory, multiplexed sensing for lab-on-chip, or frequency-encoded laser excitation.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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