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8 June 2005 Laser-based workstation for the manufacture of fused biconical tapered coupler devices
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Fused biconic tapered (FBT) couplers are essential components in today's telecommunications networks where they are used for a number of different applications. The manufacturing process consists of aligning two adjacent fibres from which the buffer has been stripped, and subsequently heating and stretching them, creating an input taper, output taper either side of the fused coupling region. It is the coupling region where energy transfer between cores is possible; this gives the device its main characteristics, and the basic geometry can be used to create a range of devices such as 3 dB splitters, tap couplers, WDMs, etc. Low losses for these devices are achievable if made with reference to the adiabatic approximation. In this paper we report the development of a laser-based rig for the manufacture of couplers in which a CO2 laser replaces the gas torch typically used as a heat source in modern manufacturing processes. In addition to the use of a laser source, we describe the integration of advanced optical techniques and feedback mechanisms to improve the workstation's reliability and flexibility. These characteristics should be advantageous for efficient manufacture of standard devices and novel devices for niche applications.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Andrew Cronin, Colm McAtamney, Richard Sherlock, Gerard M O'Connor, and Thomas J. Glynn "Laser-based workstation for the manufacture of fused biconical tapered coupler devices", Proc. SPIE 5827, Opto-Ireland 2005: Photonic Engineering, (8 June 2005);

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