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Static Elimination in Fiber Optic Connectors

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000053045D
Original Publication Date: 1981-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-12
Document File: 2 page(s) / 54K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Balliet, L: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Static electricity builds up on the ends of optical glass fibers. The static charges attract dirt particles from the air and create problems in handling and in connector applications. Some commercially available connectors have fibers suspended within a connector housing when the mated halves are disconnected and/or when the fibers are installed. Under these conditions, the static charges are especially undesirable and contamination is most pronounced.

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Static Elimination in Fiber Optic Connectors

Static electricity builds up on the ends of optical glass fibers. The static charges attract dirt particles from the air and create problems in handling and in connector applications. Some commercially available connectors have fibers suspended within a connector housing when the mated halves are disconnected and/or when the fibers are installed. Under these conditions, the static charges are especially undesirable and contamination is most pronounced.

A solution to this condition is illustrated in the drawing. It involves the deposit inside a representative fiber-optic connector near the surfaces that are subject to static charge buildup (such as the exposed mating surfaces of the glass fiber- optic waveguides) of an ionizing agent such as the commercially available isotope of polonium /84/Po(208). This isotope emits only alpha particles and, in this application, is applied diluted in an epoxy binding media at concentrations which insure a very low particle flux level (typically 50 to 100 microcuries). At this level, static charges are eliminated, but the intensity is sufficiently low so as to be totally safe. The half life of the isotope is approximately three years, which is long enough to be consistent with the connector life. The small quantity required and the relatively low cost of the commercially available isotope indicates that fiber-optic connector costs would not be significantly increased by the use of thi...