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Optical Fiber End Separation Spacer for Fiber Connectors

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000043716D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Balliet, L: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

In fiber-optic technology, loss in transmission is experienced whenever two fibers must be joined together. In order to insure proper coupling at an acceptable transmission loss, the use of a very thin spacer is described. Ideally, when connecting fibers the ends should touch. However, because the end of the fiber is easily damaged and tolerances of the ferrule and housing can vary, the ability to have the polished fiber ends touch is very difficult. By using a thin spacer 4 mounted between the mating ferrules 1 and 2 and aligned in connector housing 3, fibers 5 are prevented from being damaged when connected together. Also, a small end-separation is provided to further prevent damage in the event too much torque is applied. The key to the design of spacer 4 is the thickness, which can be as small as .0002".

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Optical Fiber End Separation Spacer for Fiber Connectors

In fiber-optic technology, loss in transmission is experienced whenever two fibers must be joined together. In order to insure proper coupling at an acceptable transmission loss, the use of a very thin spacer is described. Ideally, when connecting fibers the ends should touch. However, because the end of the fiber is easily damaged and tolerances of the ferrule and housing can vary, the ability to have the polished fiber ends touch is very difficult. By using a thin spacer 4 mounted between the mating ferrules 1 and 2 and aligned in connector housing 3, fibers 5 are prevented from being damaged when connected together. Also, a small end-separation is provided to further prevent damage in the event too much torque is applied. The key to the design of spacer 4 is the thickness, which can be as small as .0002". It has been found that when using 100 micro core, 0.28 numerical aperture fiber, a .0002" spacer introduced less that 0.2 dB loss. This is much less than the 0.5 dB loss due to Fresnel effects and much less than 2.0 dB loss that is considered industrially acceptable. Although the use of the spacer has been found to be applicable to either metal or plastic connectors, it was found to be especially attractive when used with resilient plastic ferrules.

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