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New arrayed microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) variable optical attenuators (VOAs) based on planar retro-reflection attenuation configuration have been characterized in this letter. Experimental results show the insertion loss of less than 0.8 dB, and back-reflection loss of better than 50 dB and polarization-dependent loss of less than 0.3 dB over full span of attenuation range of 50 dB. This arrayed MEMS VOA device does not only provide excellent optical performance, but offers a feasible solution to make VOA devices of multiple channels with good manufacturability, scalability, and compact footprint.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2005