Editorial Feature

On Chip Tunable Optical Devices Actuated by Electro-Wetting On Dielectric (EWOD)

Researcher: Prof Uriel Levy
Department: Faculty of Science, Applied Physics Department
University: Hebrew University of Jerusalem


This invention addresses an innovative approach to tunable optical devices. The technology outlined herein is of interest to devices, photonics and optoelectronics.

The invention is at the proof of concept stage. The technology is patent pending and the maket size of the optical component market that was estimated to be $2.9 billion globally in 2006 is anticipated to grow to $7.6 billion by the year, 2012.


This invention utilizes electrowetting for the realization of on chip tunable optical devices (TODs). The invention positions one or more liquid droplets near a resonator or an optical waveguide. When voltage is applied to the droplet(s), the effective refractive index of the waveguide and its loss can be changed resulting in control of its shape and position.


TODs find applications commercially in liquid lenses, displays and prisms.

Current Status

The proof of concept has been demonstrated and described in the following article:

Romi Shamai and Uriel Levy, “On chip tunable micro ring resonator actuated by electrowetting,” published in the Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 2, 2009.

The researchers intend to have a totally integrated device that satisfies all specifications. In order to realize this objective, R&D effort needs to be carried out by an industry partner.

About the Department of Applied Physics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The goal of the Department of Applied Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is to obtain, generate, and provide knowledge at the frontier of physics research and to use it for significant advancements in science and technology. Specifically, the department is active in generating an evolving synergism between micro and optoelectronics.

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