Tunable optical switch using magnetic fluids

H. E. Horng*, C. S. Chen, K. L. Fang, S. Y. Yang, J. J. Chieh, Chin Yih Hong, H. C. Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)


With a tunable refractive index, magnetic fluid can be applied to the development of adjustable optical devices. In this work, a magnetic-fluid-based optical switch is designed and characterized. The optical switch is formed by sealing magnetic fluid between two glass prisms. When a light is incident to one side of one of the prisms, a reflected light from the magnetic fluid film comes out from the same prism, whereas a transmitted light through the film emits from the other prism. It was found that the intensity ratio of the reflected light to the transmitted light can be manipulated by varying the external magnetic field strength. This implies that the light intensity can be switched between two paths. The switching efficiency also depends on the incident angle of a light into the prism. We then theoretically derive the incident-angle dependent switching efficiency to clarify relevant physical mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5592-5594
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Dec 6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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