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Optical Components by Fiber Pulling

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000053012D
Original Publication Date: 1981-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-12
Document File: 2 page(s) / 33K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Johnson, M: AUTHOR

Abstract

Elongate integrated optical components may be conveniently fabricated by forming a suitable pattern on a substrate and then stretching the pattern and substrate to a final desired geometry.

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Optical Components by Fiber Pulling

Elongate integrated optical components may be conveniently fabricated by forming a suitable pattern on a substrate and then stretching the pattern and substrate to a final desired geometry.

Many single-mode optical components have extremely large aspect ratios. A 3 dB coupler, for example, consists of two coupled optical waveguides, a few mm long, separated by a distance of ~ 2 mu m, which must be controlled to typically one percent. Such stringent requirements are difficult to meet by any but the most sophisticated photolithographic equipment.

I propose to use the anisotropic dimension-changing properties of the glass- fiber pulling process to form such structures. Typically, an optical fiber is formed by pulling a heated preform of mm or cm dimensions to a finished size of ~ 100 mu m. As all lateral dimensions are reduced by the factor m, the longitudinal dimension of the structure is increased by m/2/. This anisotropy is ideal for the final structures described.

The preform in this case is not a round glass rod, but rather a flat substrate which is patterned by lithography. The pattern is suitably predistorted to allow for the lateral contraction of the pattern and the longitudinal extension. The drawing shows one example. This is a preform for a series of many 3 dB couplers, hundreds of which may be pulled in a single operation. This is in contrast to direct lithography, where the large length of the finished devices preclu...