Next Article in Journal
Adaptive Covariance Estimation Method for LiDAR-Aided Multi-Sensor Integrated Navigation Systems
Next Article in Special Issue
Progress of MEMS Scanning Micromirrors for Optical Bio-Imaging
Previous Article in Journal
Programmable Electrowetting with Channels and Droplets
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Infrared Optical Switch Using a Movable Liquid Droplet

BK Plus Haptic Polymer Composite Research Team, Department of Polymer-Nano Science and Technology, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Chonbuk 561-756, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Joost Lötters
Micromachines 2015, 6(2), 186-195;
Received: 8 November 2014 / Revised: 8 January 2015 / Accepted: 21 January 2015 / Published: 27 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Microsystems)
PDF [801 KB, uploaded 29 January 2015]


We report an infrared (IR) optical switch using a wedge-like cell. A glycerol droplet is placed in the cell and its surrounding is filled with silicone oil. The droplet has minimal surface area to volume (SA/V) ratio in the relaxing state. By applying a voltage, the generated dielectric force pulls the droplet to move toward the region with thinner cell gap. As a result, the droplet is deformed by the substrates, causing the SA/V of the droplet to increase. When the voltage is removed, the droplet can return to its original place in order to minimize the surface energy. Owing to the absorption of glycerol at 1.55 μm, the shifted droplet can be used to attenuate an IR beam with the advantage of polarization independent. Fluidic devices based on this operation mechanism have potential applications in optical fiber switches, IR shutter, and variable optical attenuations. View Full-Text
Keywords: liquid droplet; dielectric force; optical switch; attenuation ratio liquid droplet; dielectric force; optical switch; attenuation ratio

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Xu, M.; Wang, X.; Jin, B.; Ren, H. Infrared Optical Switch Using a Movable Liquid Droplet. Micromachines 2015, 6, 186-195.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Micromachines EISSN 2072-666X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top