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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 5 — Mar. 11, 2013
  • pp: 5332–5337

A fast response variable optical attenuator based on blue phase liquid crystal

Ge Zhu, Bing-yan Wei, Liang-yu Shi, Xiao-wen Lin, Wei Hu, Zhang-di Huang, and Yan-qing Lu  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 5, pp. 5332-5337 (2013)

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Blue phase liquid crystals (BPLCs) are promising candidates for next generation display thanks to their fast response and quasi-isotropic optical properties. By taking these advantages, we propose to introduce the material into fiber-optic applications. As an example, a BPLC based variable optical attenuator (VOA) is demonstrated with a polarization independent design. The device shows normally-off feature when no field is applied. Response time down to submillisecond scale is achieved in switching between two arbitrary attenuation states. The attenuation range is also measured from 1480 to 1550 nm, which cover the whole telecomm S-band and part of the C-band. The overall performances reach the requirements for practical use; while still have room for further improvement. Through this example, the applicability of BPLC in fiber-optic devices is presented, which may impel the development of many other photonic applications from infrared to even microwave regions.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(060.2340) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics components
(060.5060) Fiber optics and optical communications : Phase modulation
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals

ToC Category:
Fiber Optics and Optical Communications

Original Manuscript: January 4, 2013
Revised Manuscript: February 5, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: February 18, 2013
Published: February 25, 2013

Ge Zhu, Bing-yan Wei, Liang-yu Shi, Xiao-wen Lin, Wei Hu, Zhang-di Huang, and Yan-qing Lu, "A fast response variable optical attenuator based on blue phase liquid crystal," Opt. Express 21, 5332-5337 (2013)

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