Abstract

We report the development of a fiber taper and fused-fiber coupler fabrication rig that uses a scanning, focused, CO2 laser beam as the heat source. As a result of the pointlike heat source and the versatility associated with scanning, tapers of any transition shape and uniform taper waist can be produced. Tapers with both a linear shape and an exponential transition shape were measured. The taper waist uniformity was measured and shown to be better than ±1.2%. The rig was also used to make fused-fiber couplers. Couplers with excess loss below -0.1 dB were routinely produced.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. T. A. Birks, P. St. J. Russell, D. O. Culverhouse, “The acousto-optic effect in single-mode fiber tapers and couplers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 14, 2519–2529 (1996).
    [CrossRef]
  2. T. A. Birks, Y. W. Li, “The shape of fiber tapers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 10, 432–438 (1992).
    [CrossRef]
  3. R. P. Kenny, T. A. Birks, K. P. Oakley, “Control of optical fibre taper shape,” Electron. Lett. 27, 1654–1656 (1991).
    [CrossRef]
  4. R. L. Williamson, M. J. Miles, “Melt-drawn scanning near-field optical microscopy probe profiles,” J. Appl. Phys. 80, 4804–4812 (1996).
    [CrossRef]
  5. D. R. Fairbanks, “Thermal visco-elastic simulation model for tapering of laser-heated fused silica fiber,” in Fiber Optic Components and Reliability, P. M. Kopera, D. K. Paul, eds., Proc. SPIE1580, 188–196 (1991).
    [CrossRef]
  6. A. J. C. Grellier, N. K. Zayer, C. N. Pannell, “Heat transfer modeling in CO2 laser processing of optical fibres,” Opt. Commun. 152, 324–328 (1998).
    [CrossRef]
  7. H. Yokota, E. Sugai, Y. Saaki, “Optical irradiation method for fiber coupler fabrications,” Opt. Rev. 4, 104–107 (1997).
    [CrossRef]
  8. A. D. McLachlan, F. P. Meyer, “Temperature dependence of the extinction coefficient of fused silica for CO2 laser wavelengths,” Appl. Opt. 26, 1728–1731 (1987).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. M. N. Ozisic, Basic Heat Transfer (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1977), p. 307.
  10. T. A. Birks, J. C. Knight, “Excitation of whispering gallery modes in fibres by fibres,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO/Europe) (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1998), paper CThI2.
    [CrossRef]

1998 (1)

A. J. C. Grellier, N. K. Zayer, C. N. Pannell, “Heat transfer modeling in CO2 laser processing of optical fibres,” Opt. Commun. 152, 324–328 (1998).
[CrossRef]

1997 (1)

H. Yokota, E. Sugai, Y. Saaki, “Optical irradiation method for fiber coupler fabrications,” Opt. Rev. 4, 104–107 (1997).
[CrossRef]

1996 (2)

T. A. Birks, P. St. J. Russell, D. O. Culverhouse, “The acousto-optic effect in single-mode fiber tapers and couplers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 14, 2519–2529 (1996).
[CrossRef]

R. L. Williamson, M. J. Miles, “Melt-drawn scanning near-field optical microscopy probe profiles,” J. Appl. Phys. 80, 4804–4812 (1996).
[CrossRef]

1992 (1)

T. A. Birks, Y. W. Li, “The shape of fiber tapers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 10, 432–438 (1992).
[CrossRef]

1991 (1)

R. P. Kenny, T. A. Birks, K. P. Oakley, “Control of optical fibre taper shape,” Electron. Lett. 27, 1654–1656 (1991).
[CrossRef]

1987 (1)

Birks, T. A.

T. A. Birks, P. St. J. Russell, D. O. Culverhouse, “The acousto-optic effect in single-mode fiber tapers and couplers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 14, 2519–2529 (1996).
[CrossRef]

T. A. Birks, Y. W. Li, “The shape of fiber tapers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 10, 432–438 (1992).
[CrossRef]

R. P. Kenny, T. A. Birks, K. P. Oakley, “Control of optical fibre taper shape,” Electron. Lett. 27, 1654–1656 (1991).
[CrossRef]

T. A. Birks, J. C. Knight, “Excitation of whispering gallery modes in fibres by fibres,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO/Europe) (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1998), paper CThI2.
[CrossRef]

Culverhouse, D. O.

T. A. Birks, P. St. J. Russell, D. O. Culverhouse, “The acousto-optic effect in single-mode fiber tapers and couplers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 14, 2519–2529 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Fairbanks, D. R.

D. R. Fairbanks, “Thermal visco-elastic simulation model for tapering of laser-heated fused silica fiber,” in Fiber Optic Components and Reliability, P. M. Kopera, D. K. Paul, eds., Proc. SPIE1580, 188–196 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Grellier, A. J. C.

A. J. C. Grellier, N. K. Zayer, C. N. Pannell, “Heat transfer modeling in CO2 laser processing of optical fibres,” Opt. Commun. 152, 324–328 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Kenny, R. P.

R. P. Kenny, T. A. Birks, K. P. Oakley, “Control of optical fibre taper shape,” Electron. Lett. 27, 1654–1656 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Knight, J. C.

T. A. Birks, J. C. Knight, “Excitation of whispering gallery modes in fibres by fibres,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO/Europe) (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1998), paper CThI2.
[CrossRef]

Li, Y. W.

T. A. Birks, Y. W. Li, “The shape of fiber tapers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 10, 432–438 (1992).
[CrossRef]

McLachlan, A. D.

Meyer, F. P.

Miles, M. J.

R. L. Williamson, M. J. Miles, “Melt-drawn scanning near-field optical microscopy probe profiles,” J. Appl. Phys. 80, 4804–4812 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Oakley, K. P.

R. P. Kenny, T. A. Birks, K. P. Oakley, “Control of optical fibre taper shape,” Electron. Lett. 27, 1654–1656 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Ozisic, M. N.

M. N. Ozisic, Basic Heat Transfer (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1977), p. 307.

Pannell, C. N.

A. J. C. Grellier, N. K. Zayer, C. N. Pannell, “Heat transfer modeling in CO2 laser processing of optical fibres,” Opt. Commun. 152, 324–328 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Russell, P. St. J.

T. A. Birks, P. St. J. Russell, D. O. Culverhouse, “The acousto-optic effect in single-mode fiber tapers and couplers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 14, 2519–2529 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Saaki, Y.

H. Yokota, E. Sugai, Y. Saaki, “Optical irradiation method for fiber coupler fabrications,” Opt. Rev. 4, 104–107 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Sugai, E.

H. Yokota, E. Sugai, Y. Saaki, “Optical irradiation method for fiber coupler fabrications,” Opt. Rev. 4, 104–107 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Williamson, R. L.

R. L. Williamson, M. J. Miles, “Melt-drawn scanning near-field optical microscopy probe profiles,” J. Appl. Phys. 80, 4804–4812 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Yokota, H.

H. Yokota, E. Sugai, Y. Saaki, “Optical irradiation method for fiber coupler fabrications,” Opt. Rev. 4, 104–107 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Zayer, N. K.

A. J. C. Grellier, N. K. Zayer, C. N. Pannell, “Heat transfer modeling in CO2 laser processing of optical fibres,” Opt. Commun. 152, 324–328 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Opt. (1)

Electron. Lett. (1)

R. P. Kenny, T. A. Birks, K. P. Oakley, “Control of optical fibre taper shape,” Electron. Lett. 27, 1654–1656 (1991).
[CrossRef]

J. Appl. Phys. (1)

R. L. Williamson, M. J. Miles, “Melt-drawn scanning near-field optical microscopy probe profiles,” J. Appl. Phys. 80, 4804–4812 (1996).
[CrossRef]

J. Lightwave Technol. (2)

T. A. Birks, P. St. J. Russell, D. O. Culverhouse, “The acousto-optic effect in single-mode fiber tapers and couplers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 14, 2519–2529 (1996).
[CrossRef]

T. A. Birks, Y. W. Li, “The shape of fiber tapers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 10, 432–438 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Commun. (1)

A. J. C. Grellier, N. K. Zayer, C. N. Pannell, “Heat transfer modeling in CO2 laser processing of optical fibres,” Opt. Commun. 152, 324–328 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Rev. (1)

H. Yokota, E. Sugai, Y. Saaki, “Optical irradiation method for fiber coupler fabrications,” Opt. Rev. 4, 104–107 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Other (3)

M. N. Ozisic, Basic Heat Transfer (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1977), p. 307.

T. A. Birks, J. C. Knight, “Excitation of whispering gallery modes in fibres by fibres,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO/Europe) (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1998), paper CThI2.
[CrossRef]

D. R. Fairbanks, “Thermal visco-elastic simulation model for tapering of laser-heated fused silica fiber,” in Fiber Optic Components and Reliability, P. M. Kopera, D. K. Paul, eds., Proc. SPIE1580, 188–196 (1991).
[CrossRef]

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Figures (7)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the taper rig.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Calibration curve showing the desired laser power as a function of taper diameter.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Plot of fiber taper diameter as a function of distance along the taper. The taper was made with a constant sweep length of 4.75 mm resulting in exponential transitions. Measurements are shown as circles. The solid curve is the taper shape predicted by theory.2

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Plot of fiber taper diameter as a function of distance along the taper. The taper was made with an initial sweep length of 15.6 mm that was decreased at a rate of half of the rate at which the fibers were pulled. The resulting taper transitions were linear.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Plot of the measured taper waist uniformity as a function of distance along the taper waist.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Coupler output power plotted as a function of pulling time for a 50:50 fused-fiber coupler.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Histogram showing excess loss of ten sequentially manufactured fused-fiber couplers.

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