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Populating multi-fiber fiberoptic connectors using an interferometric measurement of fiber tip position and facet quality

Publication date 2010
B-Phot Authors Jurgen Van Erps, Michael Vervaeke, Hugo Thienpont
DOI 10.1117/12.853644
Citation
J. Van Erps, A. Pakula, S. Tomczewski, M. Vervaeke, L. Salbut, and H. Thienpont, “Populating multi-fiber fiberoptic connectors using an interferometric measurement of fiber tip position and facet quality,” in Proc. SPIE, Micro-Optics, VCSELs, and Photonic Interconnects III, 2010, vol. 7716, p. 77161I.
Abstract One of the most important challenges in multiple-fiber connectors is to achieve accurate fiber positioning, i.e. to ensure that the fiber end facets coincide with the front facet of the connector plate. Therefore, it is crucial to increase the accuracy of the assembly process of fiber connectors. We present the population of a plastic multi-fiber connector designed for optical interconnect applications with silica fiber, with a good uniformity of fiber protrusion across the array of +/-2.5-mu m. To this end, an interferometric setup for in situ monitoring of fiber tip positions during the insertion phase was developed. It ensures an accurate fiber tip position at the fiber connector's front facet and across the fiber array in cases where post-insertion polishing is not possible. Furhermore, our setup can provide us with insight into the influence of the curing process (e. g. shrinkage) on the tip position during the fiber fixation step and allows us to assess the fiber facet quality. We compare the fiber tip position measured in situ using our setup with the position measured off-line using a commercial white light interferometer, showing a deviation smaller than 5%.
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