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Opt Express. 2011 Apr 25;19(9):8602-9. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.008602.

Optofluidic waveguides for reconfigurable photonic systems.

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  • 1Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


We report the development of two liquid waveguide based photonic elements for use in reconfigurable photonic systems. This work demonstrates the ability to couple light from a conventional optical fiber to an adaptable liquid-core/liquid-cladding waveguide and back again to an optical fiber(s) enabling us to take advantage of both liquid- and solid-state photonic modalities. We demonstrate and characterize the use of this fiber-in and fiber-out system as either an optical switch or signal attenuator. Microscale flow control enables the adaptive morphology and tunable position of the liquid waveguide yielding an attenuation range of 3.1-10.7 dB, operability over a broad bandwidth spanning the range of wavelengths from visible to telecommunication, and a 1x2 sub-second switching system with a cross-talk as low as 20 dB and maximum coupling efficiency of 3.87 dB.

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