Abstract

Increased demand for fiber-optic technology has created significant growth in the sales of interconnection devices such as fiber-optic connectors, cable assemblies, and adapters. To ensure good connector performance during actual use, several process parameters related to geometric and optical characteristics of the connector must be thoroughly understood during the manufacturing stage. The experimental design has been used here to see the influence of applied pressure and time on the fiber end geometry as well as optical performance. The mathematical model is also applied to explain the phenomena of the present fiber undercut-reflectance relation. By a proper choice of polishing film grit size and processing conditions, it is possible to obtain fiber connectors with less fiber undercut and better return loss. Influences of film grit size and rubber-pad thickness on the reflectance and the fiber undercut are also presented.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. C. S. Xu, “Connector market forecast to grow through 2001,” Lightwave (Feb.1998), pp. 86–90.
  2. Bellcore Generic Requirement, GR-325 1998, Telcordia Technologies Inc., Morristown, N.J. 07960.
  3. M. Corke, “In pursuit of nothing: singlemode connector backreflection,” Fiberoptic Product News (May1994), pp. 27–29.
  4. W. C. Young, V. Shah, “Polished-fiber end-faces improve optical performance,” Laser Focus World (August, 1992), pp. 133–138.
  5. T. Shintaku, E. Sugita, “Highly stable physical-contact optical fiber connectors with spherical convex ends,”J. Lightwave Technol. (Feb.1993), pp. 241–248.
  6. T. Shintaku, R. Nagase, E. Suguta, “Connection mechanism of physical-contact optical fiber connectors with spherical convex polished ends,” Appl. Opt. 30, 5260–5265 (1991).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. E. A. Norland, “Improved method for measuring fiber undercut and protrusion on PC polishing connectors,” in Components for Fiber Optics Applications VII, P. M. Kopera, ed., Proc. SPIE1792, 44–53 (1992).
    [CrossRef]
  8. L. A. Reith, “Issues relating to the performance of optical connectors and splices,” in Passive Fibre Optic Components and Their Reliability, V. J. Tekippe, J. P. Varachi, eds., Proc. SPIE1973, 293–300 (1993).
  9. I. E. Lin, “Analyze fiber-optic connector parameters through finite element modeling,” presented at the 31st Annual Connector and Interconnection Technology Symposium, Danvers, Mass., 19–21 Oct. 1998.
  10. F. C. Allard, Fiber Optics Handbook for Engineers and Scientists (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1989).
  11. M. Kihara, S. Nagasawa, T. Tanifuji, “Return loss characteristics of optical fiber connectors,” J. Lightwave Technol. (Sept.1996), pp. 1986–1991.
    [CrossRef]
  12. UCONN Technologies, Ltd., Product Catalog 2000 (UCONN, Hsin-Chu, Taiwan).
  13. “Pre-assemble, tunable fiber optic connector,” Taiwanese patent134211 (21Dec.1997); “Pre-assemble fiber optic connector,” Taiwanese patent128977 (1Sept.1997).
  14. 3M Abrasive System Division, Fiber Optic Polishing Catalog, 60-4400-4259-0 (3M, St. Paul, Minnesota).
  15. Hon-Chan Rubber Company, Chu-Bei City, Taiwan.
  16. Norland Fiber Optic Product Catalog (Norland Cranbury, N.J.).
  17. ZX-1 DORC Interferometer, Direct Optical Research Company, Phoenix, Ariz. 85013.
  18. JDS Instrument Catalog (JDS Uniphase Corporation Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 2000).
  19. M. Takahashi, “Elastic polishing plate method and conditions for forming angled convex surface on ferrule end-face,” J. Lightwave Technol. (Sept.1997), pp. 1675–1680.
    [CrossRef]
  20. JDS commercially available brochure for Model SFP-550 Polisher, FF3A/SF5D and FF3A/AF5D (Fiber Optic Products Group, JDS Uniphase Corporation, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1997).
  21. Lord Rayleigh, “The surface layer of polished silica and glass with further studies on optical contact,” Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. A 160, 507–526 (1937).
    [CrossRef]
  22. V. Shah, W. C. Young, L. Curtis, “Large fluctions in transmitted power at fiber joints with polished endfaces,” in Optical Fiber Communication/International Conference on Integrated Optics and Optical Fiber Communication, Vol. 3 of 1987 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1987), paper TuF4.

1998 (1)

C. S. Xu, “Connector market forecast to grow through 2001,” Lightwave (Feb.1998), pp. 86–90.

1997 (1)

M. Takahashi, “Elastic polishing plate method and conditions for forming angled convex surface on ferrule end-face,” J. Lightwave Technol. (Sept.1997), pp. 1675–1680.
[CrossRef]

1996 (1)

M. Kihara, S. Nagasawa, T. Tanifuji, “Return loss characteristics of optical fiber connectors,” J. Lightwave Technol. (Sept.1996), pp. 1986–1991.
[CrossRef]

1994 (1)

M. Corke, “In pursuit of nothing: singlemode connector backreflection,” Fiberoptic Product News (May1994), pp. 27–29.

1993 (1)

T. Shintaku, E. Sugita, “Highly stable physical-contact optical fiber connectors with spherical convex ends,”J. Lightwave Technol. (Feb.1993), pp. 241–248.

1992 (1)

W. C. Young, V. Shah, “Polished-fiber end-faces improve optical performance,” Laser Focus World (August, 1992), pp. 133–138.

1991 (1)

1937 (1)

Lord Rayleigh, “The surface layer of polished silica and glass with further studies on optical contact,” Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. A 160, 507–526 (1937).
[CrossRef]

Allard, F. C.

F. C. Allard, Fiber Optics Handbook for Engineers and Scientists (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1989).

Corke, M.

M. Corke, “In pursuit of nothing: singlemode connector backreflection,” Fiberoptic Product News (May1994), pp. 27–29.

Curtis, L.

V. Shah, W. C. Young, L. Curtis, “Large fluctions in transmitted power at fiber joints with polished endfaces,” in Optical Fiber Communication/International Conference on Integrated Optics and Optical Fiber Communication, Vol. 3 of 1987 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1987), paper TuF4.

Kihara, M.

M. Kihara, S. Nagasawa, T. Tanifuji, “Return loss characteristics of optical fiber connectors,” J. Lightwave Technol. (Sept.1996), pp. 1986–1991.
[CrossRef]

Lin, I. E.

I. E. Lin, “Analyze fiber-optic connector parameters through finite element modeling,” presented at the 31st Annual Connector and Interconnection Technology Symposium, Danvers, Mass., 19–21 Oct. 1998.

Nagasawa, S.

M. Kihara, S. Nagasawa, T. Tanifuji, “Return loss characteristics of optical fiber connectors,” J. Lightwave Technol. (Sept.1996), pp. 1986–1991.
[CrossRef]

Nagase, R.

Norland, E. A.

E. A. Norland, “Improved method for measuring fiber undercut and protrusion on PC polishing connectors,” in Components for Fiber Optics Applications VII, P. M. Kopera, ed., Proc. SPIE1792, 44–53 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Rayleigh, Lord

Lord Rayleigh, “The surface layer of polished silica and glass with further studies on optical contact,” Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. A 160, 507–526 (1937).
[CrossRef]

Reith, L. A.

L. A. Reith, “Issues relating to the performance of optical connectors and splices,” in Passive Fibre Optic Components and Their Reliability, V. J. Tekippe, J. P. Varachi, eds., Proc. SPIE1973, 293–300 (1993).

Shah, V.

W. C. Young, V. Shah, “Polished-fiber end-faces improve optical performance,” Laser Focus World (August, 1992), pp. 133–138.

V. Shah, W. C. Young, L. Curtis, “Large fluctions in transmitted power at fiber joints with polished endfaces,” in Optical Fiber Communication/International Conference on Integrated Optics and Optical Fiber Communication, Vol. 3 of 1987 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1987), paper TuF4.

Shintaku, T.

T. Shintaku, E. Sugita, “Highly stable physical-contact optical fiber connectors with spherical convex ends,”J. Lightwave Technol. (Feb.1993), pp. 241–248.

T. Shintaku, R. Nagase, E. Suguta, “Connection mechanism of physical-contact optical fiber connectors with spherical convex polished ends,” Appl. Opt. 30, 5260–5265 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Sugita, E.

T. Shintaku, E. Sugita, “Highly stable physical-contact optical fiber connectors with spherical convex ends,”J. Lightwave Technol. (Feb.1993), pp. 241–248.

Suguta, E.

Takahashi, M.

M. Takahashi, “Elastic polishing plate method and conditions for forming angled convex surface on ferrule end-face,” J. Lightwave Technol. (Sept.1997), pp. 1675–1680.
[CrossRef]

Tanifuji, T.

M. Kihara, S. Nagasawa, T. Tanifuji, “Return loss characteristics of optical fiber connectors,” J. Lightwave Technol. (Sept.1996), pp. 1986–1991.
[CrossRef]

Xu, C. S.

C. S. Xu, “Connector market forecast to grow through 2001,” Lightwave (Feb.1998), pp. 86–90.

Young, W. C.

W. C. Young, V. Shah, “Polished-fiber end-faces improve optical performance,” Laser Focus World (August, 1992), pp. 133–138.

V. Shah, W. C. Young, L. Curtis, “Large fluctions in transmitted power at fiber joints with polished endfaces,” in Optical Fiber Communication/International Conference on Integrated Optics and Optical Fiber Communication, Vol. 3 of 1987 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1987), paper TuF4.

Appl. Opt. (1)

Fiberoptic Product News (1)

M. Corke, “In pursuit of nothing: singlemode connector backreflection,” Fiberoptic Product News (May1994), pp. 27–29.

J. Lightwave Technol. (3)

M. Kihara, S. Nagasawa, T. Tanifuji, “Return loss characteristics of optical fiber connectors,” J. Lightwave Technol. (Sept.1996), pp. 1986–1991.
[CrossRef]

M. Takahashi, “Elastic polishing plate method and conditions for forming angled convex surface on ferrule end-face,” J. Lightwave Technol. (Sept.1997), pp. 1675–1680.
[CrossRef]

T. Shintaku, E. Sugita, “Highly stable physical-contact optical fiber connectors with spherical convex ends,”J. Lightwave Technol. (Feb.1993), pp. 241–248.

Laser Focus World (1)

W. C. Young, V. Shah, “Polished-fiber end-faces improve optical performance,” Laser Focus World (August, 1992), pp. 133–138.

Lightwave (1)

C. S. Xu, “Connector market forecast to grow through 2001,” Lightwave (Feb.1998), pp. 86–90.

Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. A (1)

Lord Rayleigh, “The surface layer of polished silica and glass with further studies on optical contact,” Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. A 160, 507–526 (1937).
[CrossRef]

Other (14)

V. Shah, W. C. Young, L. Curtis, “Large fluctions in transmitted power at fiber joints with polished endfaces,” in Optical Fiber Communication/International Conference on Integrated Optics and Optical Fiber Communication, Vol. 3 of 1987 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1987), paper TuF4.

JDS commercially available brochure for Model SFP-550 Polisher, FF3A/SF5D and FF3A/AF5D (Fiber Optic Products Group, JDS Uniphase Corporation, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1997).

Bellcore Generic Requirement, GR-325 1998, Telcordia Technologies Inc., Morristown, N.J. 07960.

E. A. Norland, “Improved method for measuring fiber undercut and protrusion on PC polishing connectors,” in Components for Fiber Optics Applications VII, P. M. Kopera, ed., Proc. SPIE1792, 44–53 (1992).
[CrossRef]

L. A. Reith, “Issues relating to the performance of optical connectors and splices,” in Passive Fibre Optic Components and Their Reliability, V. J. Tekippe, J. P. Varachi, eds., Proc. SPIE1973, 293–300 (1993).

I. E. Lin, “Analyze fiber-optic connector parameters through finite element modeling,” presented at the 31st Annual Connector and Interconnection Technology Symposium, Danvers, Mass., 19–21 Oct. 1998.

F. C. Allard, Fiber Optics Handbook for Engineers and Scientists (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1989).

UCONN Technologies, Ltd., Product Catalog 2000 (UCONN, Hsin-Chu, Taiwan).

“Pre-assemble, tunable fiber optic connector,” Taiwanese patent134211 (21Dec.1997); “Pre-assemble fiber optic connector,” Taiwanese patent128977 (1Sept.1997).

3M Abrasive System Division, Fiber Optic Polishing Catalog, 60-4400-4259-0 (3M, St. Paul, Minnesota).

Hon-Chan Rubber Company, Chu-Bei City, Taiwan.

Norland Fiber Optic Product Catalog (Norland Cranbury, N.J.).

ZX-1 DORC Interferometer, Direct Optical Research Company, Phoenix, Ariz. 85013.

JDS Instrument Catalog (JDS Uniphase Corporation Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 2000).

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Figures (12)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Three endface-geometry parameters (apex offset, radius of curvature, and fiber height) are the critical elements for achieving physical contact when two optical connectors are mated, along with contact force and materials of the fiber, ferrule, and epoxy.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Generic manufacturing process of patchcord assembly. The controlled parameters involved in each stage are also included in the flow chart.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Effects of time and applied pressure on the return loss. A higher pressure and a shorter polishing time produce better RL.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Effects of time and applied pressure on the endface radius (R). Solid curves, connect-check results; dotted curves, ZX-1 PMS automatic system.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Effects of time and applied pressure on the apex offset.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Effects of applied pressure on the fiber undercut. Circles, connect-check results; triangles, ZX-1 PMS automatic system.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Effects of polishing time on the fiber undercut. Circles, connect-check results; triangles, ZX-1 PMS automatic system.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Relation of fiber undercut and RL. These data are extracted from Table 2 with additional tests: points 0, a, b, and c. Samples sizes are all 12 pieces. Polishing pad: a–c, 1–9 is 0.15 µm with 3.5-mm-thick film, and 0 is 0.05 µm. 5.0-mm rubber pad is used. Polishing conditions are 1:60 s, 9 psi; 2:60 s, 11 psi; 3:60 s, 13 psi; 4:90 s, 9 psi; 5:90 s, 11 psi; 6:90 s, 13 psi; 7:120 s, 9 psi; 8:120 s, 11 psi; 9:120 s, 13 psi; 0:60 s, 9 psi; a:90 s, 13 psi; b:90 s, 11 psi; c:90 s, 9 psi.

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

Effects of rubber-pad thickness and polishing-film thickness on the RL. HF, 0.15-µm grit size with 3.5-mm-thick film; hF, 0.15-µm grit size with 0.84-mm-thick film; LF, 0.05-µm grit size lapping film; HR, 5.0-mm rubber pad; hR, 2.34-mm rubber pad. The polishing parameters used in this test are 9 psi, 60 s in all steps.

Fig. 10
Fig. 10

Significant improvement made by the enhanced polishing techniques: (left) fiber undercut and (right) return loss. The figure shows that 100% of fiber undercuts were controlled within a 100-nm range, which produced reflectance of less than -55 dB.

Fig. 11
Fig. 11

Model of perpendicular endface optical fiber connection employing index-matching material. Two optical fibers (refractive index of core, n 0) are connected. The two fiber endfaces have uniform high-index surface layers (refractive index n 2 and layer thickness h), as result of polishing.

Fig. 12
Fig. 12

Reflectance variation, occurring between two flat fibers, is a function of endface separation distance. Solid curve is computed as λ = 1310 nm, n 0 = 1.463, n 1 = 1.0, n2 = 1.476, h = 30 nm; dotted line is computed as λ = 1310 nm, n 0 = 1.463, h = 30 nm, and n 2 = 1.476.

Tables (4)

Tables Icon

Table 1 Three-Level Process Parameters, Which Include Applied Pressure and Time, Used in Our Polishing Processa

Tables Icon

Table 2 Measured Results of Objective Characteristics in Nine Experimentsa

Tables Icon

Table 3 Effects of Lapping Grit Size on the Fiber Undercut at the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Stepsa

Tables Icon

Table 4 Effects of Lapping Grit Size on the Fiber Undercut and Reflection at the Final Stepa

Equations (4)

Equations on this page are rendered with MathJax. Learn more.

Rl=-10 log2R1-cos4πn1dλ,
R=r12+r22+2r1r2 cos δ1+r12r22+2r1r2 cos δ,
r1=n0-n2n0+n2,  r2=n2-n1n2+n1,  δ=4πλ n2h,
Rl=-10 log2r121-cos4πn2λ 2h.

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