WO1989012243A1 - Fibre-optic couplers - Google Patents

Fibre-optic couplers Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1989012243A1
WO1989012243A1 PCT/GB1989/000644 GB8900644W WO8912243A1 WO 1989012243 A1 WO1989012243 A1 WO 1989012243A1 GB 8900644 W GB8900644 W GB 8900644W WO 8912243 A1 WO8912243 A1 WO 8912243A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
coupler
ends
fused
tubular member
apparatus according
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB1989/000644
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Timothy Adam Birks
Original Assignee
University Of Southampton
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B6/00Light guides
    • G02B6/24Coupling light guides
    • G02B6/26Optical coupling means
    • G02B6/28Optical coupling means having data bus means, i.e. plural waveguides interconnected and providing an inherently bidirectional system by mixing and splitting signals
    • G02B6/293Optical coupling means having data bus means, i.e. plural waveguides interconnected and providing an inherently bidirectional system by mixing and splitting signals with wavelength selective means
    • G02B6/29331Optical coupling means having data bus means, i.e. plural waveguides interconnected and providing an inherently bidirectional system by mixing and splitting signals with wavelength selective means operating by evanescent wave coupling
    • G02B6/29332Wavelength selective couplers, i.e. based on evanescent coupling between light guides, e.g. fused fibre couplers with transverse coupling between fibres having different propagation constant wavelength dependency
    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B6/00Light guides
    • G02B6/24Coupling light guides
    • G02B6/26Optical coupling means
    • G02B6/28Optical coupling means having data bus means, i.e. plural waveguides interconnected and providing an inherently bidirectional system by mixing and splitting signals
    • G02B6/2804Optical coupling means having data bus means, i.e. plural waveguides interconnected and providing an inherently bidirectional system by mixing and splitting signals forming multipart couplers without wavelength selective elements, e.g. "T" couplers, star couplers
    • G02B6/2821Optical coupling means having data bus means, i.e. plural waveguides interconnected and providing an inherently bidirectional system by mixing and splitting signals forming multipart couplers without wavelength selective elements, e.g. "T" couplers, star couplers using lateral coupling between contiguous fibres to split or combine optical signals
    • G02B6/2826Optical coupling means having data bus means, i.e. plural waveguides interconnected and providing an inherently bidirectional system by mixing and splitting signals forming multipart couplers without wavelength selective elements, e.g. "T" couplers, star couplers using lateral coupling between contiguous fibres to split or combine optical signals using mechanical machining means for shaping of the couplers, e.g. grinding or polishing
    • G02B6/283Optical coupling means having data bus means, i.e. plural waveguides interconnected and providing an inherently bidirectional system by mixing and splitting signals forming multipart couplers without wavelength selective elements, e.g. "T" couplers, star couplers using lateral coupling between contiguous fibres to split or combine optical signals using mechanical machining means for shaping of the couplers, e.g. grinding or polishing couplers being tunable or adjustable
    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B6/00Light guides
    • G02B6/24Coupling light guides
    • G02B6/26Optical coupling means
    • G02B6/28Optical coupling means having data bus means, i.e. plural waveguides interconnected and providing an inherently bidirectional system by mixing and splitting signals
    • G02B6/2804Optical coupling means having data bus means, i.e. plural waveguides interconnected and providing an inherently bidirectional system by mixing and splitting signals forming multipart couplers without wavelength selective elements, e.g. "T" couplers, star couplers
    • G02B6/2821Optical coupling means having data bus means, i.e. plural waveguides interconnected and providing an inherently bidirectional system by mixing and splitting signals forming multipart couplers without wavelength selective elements, e.g. "T" couplers, star couplers using lateral coupling between contiguous fibres to split or combine optical signals
    • G02B6/2835Optical coupling means having data bus means, i.e. plural waveguides interconnected and providing an inherently bidirectional system by mixing and splitting signals forming multipart couplers without wavelength selective elements, e.g. "T" couplers, star couplers using lateral coupling between contiguous fibres to split or combine optical signals formed or shaped by thermal treatment, e.g. couplers
    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02FDEVICES OR ARRANGEMENTS, THE OPTICAL OPERATION OF WHICH IS MODIFIED BY CHANGING THE OPTICAL PROPERTIES OF THE MEDIUM OF THE DEVICES OR ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE CONTROL OF THE INTENSITY, COLOUR, PHASE, POLARISATION OR DIRECTION OF LIGHT, e.g. SWITCHING, GATING, MODULATING OR DEMODULATING; TECHNIQUES OR PROCEDURES FOR THE OPERATION THEREOF; FREQUENCY-CHANGING; NON-LINEAR OPTICS; OPTICAL LOGIC ELEMENTS; OPTICAL ANALOGUE/DIGITAL CONVERTERS
    • G02F1/00Devices or arrangements for the control of the intensity, colour, phase, polarisation or direction of light arriving from an independent light source, e.g. switching, gating, or modulating; Non-linear optics
    • G02F1/01Devices or arrangements for the control of the intensity, colour, phase, polarisation or direction of light arriving from an independent light source, e.g. switching, gating, or modulating; Non-linear optics for the control of the intensity, phase, polarisation or colour
    • G02F1/0147Devices or arrangements for the control of the intensity, colour, phase, polarisation or direction of light arriving from an independent light source, e.g. switching, gating, or modulating; Non-linear optics for the control of the intensity, phase, polarisation or colour based on thermo-optic effects

Abstract

A tunable fused tapered fibre optic coupler assembly has tube (2) with rotatable end caps (6) in which the ends of a fused fibre-optic coupler (4) are secured. The coupler is twisted by rotating the end caps (6). This causes a change in the effective refractive index across the cross-section of coupler and this alters the coupling between the fibres. The power splitting ratio of the coupler may therefore be tuned to a desired level.

Description

-I-

Fibre-Qptic Couplers

This invention relates to Fused Tapered Fibre-optic couplers and in particular to directional couplers of this type such as beam splitters and combiners.

There are two main types of single-mode fibre optic couplers available, the polished coupler and the fused tapered coupler.

Polished directional couplers are made by polishing away the cladding of two single mode fibres to within about one micron of their respective cores. The coupler is then formed by placing the two polished half couplers together with an index-inatching oil or UV curable epoxy resin between them. The optical characteristics of the resulting directional coupler can be tuned by sliding the two polished halves relative to each other and then fixing them, if desired, by curing the epoxy resin.

The fused tapered single mode directional coupler is made by a quite different technique and a section through a typical fused directional coupler is shown in figure 1. Typically, two single-mode fibres are intertwined at the coupling location and then held by two movable supports on either side of the intertwined section. A small oxy-butane flame is applied to the fibres so that they fuse together at the intertwined section. At the same time the two supports are moved apart such that an elongate fused section 1 is formed between two fused tapered sections 3 from which the two separate fibres 5 emerge at both ends of the coupler. It is important to move the supports apart in a straight line so that a low-loss coupler will be produced. The speed of separation of the supports is also .Important since this determines the shape of the resulting taper which has a significant effect on any losses in the coupler.

Although both types of directional coupler can be made with losses less than 0.05dB, the fused directional coupler can be made much more quickly and cheaply and its power splitting ratio can be monitored during fabrication. Conversely the polished coupler's power splitting ratio can be measured after fabrication but it can then be tuned to a desired ratio by sliding the two halves over each other.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention there is provided a twisted fused tapered coupler. Further aspects of the invention are defined in claims 2 to 9 to which reference should now be made.

The invention is now described in more detail by way of example with reference to the drawings in which:

Figure 1 is a longitudinal section through a typical fused tapered directional coupler as described above;

Figure 2 is a longitudinal section through an adjustable fused tapered directional coupler assembly in accordance with the invention;

Figure 3 is a graph showing the variation of power-splitting ratio for the coupler shown in Figure 2 as a function of the axial twist angle; and

Figure 4 is a graph of the spectral power splitting ratio for increasing amounts of twist angle.

A twistable optic fibre directional coupler assembly is shown in figure 2 and comprises a silica tube 2 contø_ining a fused directional coupler 4. The tube has two rotatable plastic end caps 6 each having a hole therein, through which the optic fibres 8, leading to and from the coupler pass. The holes in this case are 1mm diameter to make threading of the fibres t±irough the end caps relatively simple. The fibres are secured to the end caps with epoxy resin 10 whilst the coupler is kept taut between them. The relatively rotatable end caps thus provide a means for twisting the coupler 4. The end caps may have a graduated scale upon them to indicate the power splitting ratio available at any angular position.

For the particular coupler used in this example, two complete revolutions of the end piece were necessary to tune across the full range of splitting ratios (0%-100%) at a wavelength of 850nm.

With the coupler tuned to give power from both output fibres the assembly was subjected to external temperature changes. A change from 0° Celsius to 60° Celsius gave a 0.45% change in the fraction of the input power coupled, whilst the coupler insertion loss of 0.2dB suffered negligible change.

The coupler assembly was also struck vigourously and dropped onto a bench from a height of 20mm. This caused a momentary coupled power variation of typically 0.4% and at no stage greater than 0.9%

A similar assembly was filled with a viscous uncured silicon elastomer (e.g. Dow-Corning Sylgard 182) to give extra mechanical protection to the coupler. This had little effect on the tunability of the coupler but the temperature sensitivity of the coupler increased to a 0.8% change in coupled power per 20° Celcius change in temperature. This increase is due to the thermally induced change in the - i-v-

elastαmer refractive index.

The reason twisting induces a change in the power splitting ratio of the coupler is that the effective refractive index across the transverse cross section of the coupling region 1 of Figure 1 changes with twisting. This accounts for the decoupling observed in twisted directional couplers since the effective index induced by the twist increases with distance from the longitudinal axis of the coupler. The relative increase in the effective index at the edges of the coupler causes a redistribution of the modal fields in the coupler away from the axis. This reduces the field overlap between the two sides of the coupler and hence causes a degree of decoupling. It can be shown by calculation that although this change in the effective index is small it is sufficient to account for the halving of the coupling strength observed in twisted couplers.

Experiments have been conducted to quantify the effect of axial twisting upon the optical characteristics of a fused tapered directional coupler made in the conventional manner. The coupler was fabricated to give 0% coupling at 870πm i.e. the optical power returns completely to the t_hroughput fibre at 870πm. To avoid the effects any bends in the coupler have on the power splitting ratio, the coupler was kept taut and tabs were fixed along the untapered fibres to confirm that any twisting was absorbed by the tapered and fused region. The variation of the logarithmic power splitting ratio with twist angle for the coupler is shown in figure 3 at a wavelength of 870nm. The ratio varies across all possible values from no power coupled to all the power coupled at 480Deg of twist angle. The variation is due to a decoupling effect which varies with the twist angle. The variation in power splitting ratio was reversed when the coupler was untwisted and no significant change in the coupler insertion loss of O.ldB was detected at any stage.

The variation in power splitting ratio with different wavelengths is shown for three different wavelengths in figure 4. Curve a. is for 0° of twist, curve b. for 240°, and curve c. for 420°. The graph shows that the wavelengths where no power is coupled and where all the power is coupled increase with increasing twist angle. Thus curves b and c are approximately shifted versions of curve a. This is the opposite of what happens during coupler fabrication and it can therefore be concluded that twisting a coupler induces decoupling rather than further coupling. It should be noted that the coupling strength at 870πm is halved as the power transfers from one fibre to the other over the 480° twist.

The coupler was twisted and untwisted through 480° many times without suffering any degradation in performance. The coupler was finally destroyed after eight consecutive revolutions in the same direction.

A number of similar couplers were also tested and these exhibited similar properties to those described above thus demonstrating the reproducibility of the tuning effect.

The twisting of fused tapered directional couplers provides a method of tuning them across all splitting ratios with low losses. The process is reversible and repeatable and does not degrade the coupler performance.

Claims

- &•Claims
1. An axially twisted fused tapered fibre optic coupler.
2. i-spparatus comprising a coxipler according to claim 1 and an enclosure in ±iich the coupler is retained.
3. Apparatus acccording to claim 2 in whic the enclosure comprises a tubular member having sealed ends, the coupler extending through and being attached at opposite ends thereof to respective sealed ends of the tubular member to maintain the twist in the coupler while preventing bending thereof.
4. .Apparatus according to claims 2 and 3 in which the enclosure is filled with a viscous elastoirer.
5. An adjustable fused tapered fibre optic coupler comprising means for axially twisting the fused portion of the coupler while preventing bending.
6. Apparatus according to claim 5 in which the twisting means comprises a tubular member with relatively angularly adjustable closed ends l±rough which the ends of the coupler pass and to which they are secured.
7. Apparatus according to claim 6 in which at least one closed end comprises an angularly adjustable end cap.
8. Apparatus according to claims 6 or 7 in which the tubular member is filled with a viscous elastomer.
9. Apparatus substantially as herein described with reference to the drawings.
PCT/GB1989/000644 1988-06-09 1989-06-09 Fibre-optic couplers WO1989012243A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB8813624.7 1988-06-09
GB8813624A GB8813624D0 (en) 1988-06-09 1988-06-09 Fibre-optic couplers

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO1989012243A1 true true WO1989012243A1 (en) 1989-12-14

Family

ID=10638330

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/GB1989/000644 WO1989012243A1 (en) 1988-06-09 1989-06-09 Fibre-optic couplers

Country Status (3)

Country Link
EP (1) EP0418286A1 (en)
GB (1) GB8813624D0 (en)
WO (1) WO1989012243A1 (en)

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0477459A1 (en) * 1990-08-28 1992-04-01 Corning Incorporated Rotary variable optical tap
EP0505828A1 (en) * 1991-03-27 1992-09-30 Alcatel SEL Aktiengesellschaft Method for the fabrication of an optical fusion-coupler
WO1993002374A1 (en) * 1991-07-25 1993-02-04 Honeywell, Inc. Optical coupler housing
EP0531937A1 (en) * 1991-09-09 1993-03-17 Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd Method of manufacturing and evaluating an optical fiber coupler and apparatus therefor
WO1998011463A2 (en) * 1996-09-10 1998-03-19 University Of Southampton Optical fibre device
US5805751A (en) * 1995-08-29 1998-09-08 Arroyo Optics, Inc. Wavelength selective optical couplers
US5875272A (en) * 1995-10-27 1999-02-23 Arroyo Optics, Inc. Wavelength selective optical devices
US6169830B1 (en) 1996-08-26 2001-01-02 Arroyo Optics, Inc. Methods of fabricating grating assisted coupler devices
US6236782B1 (en) 1995-08-29 2001-05-22 Arroyo Optics, Inc. Grating assisted coupler devices

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US474316A (en) * 1892-05-03 french
US4264126A (en) * 1979-02-14 1981-04-28 Sheem Sang K Optical fiber-to-fiber evanescent field coupler
EP0171479A1 (en) * 1984-08-03 1986-02-19 Magnetic Controls Company Transmissive multiport star coupler assembly and method
EP0174014A2 (en) * 1984-09-06 1986-03-12 Hitachi, Ltd. Optical star coupler and method for manufacturing the same
US4593968A (en) * 1981-01-22 1986-06-10 The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Navy Potting techniques for fiber optical couplers
JPH06299705A (en) * 1993-04-13 1994-10-25 Idegumi:Kk Lifting tool of column or the like in steel structural building

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US474316A (en) * 1892-05-03 french
US4264126A (en) * 1979-02-14 1981-04-28 Sheem Sang K Optical fiber-to-fiber evanescent field coupler
US4593968A (en) * 1981-01-22 1986-06-10 The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Navy Potting techniques for fiber optical couplers
EP0171479A1 (en) * 1984-08-03 1986-02-19 Magnetic Controls Company Transmissive multiport star coupler assembly and method
EP0174014A2 (en) * 1984-09-06 1986-03-12 Hitachi, Ltd. Optical star coupler and method for manufacturing the same
JPH06299705A (en) * 1993-04-13 1994-10-25 Idegumi:Kk Lifting tool of column or the like in steel structural building

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
Patent Abstracts of Japan, volume 11, no. 308 (P-624)(2755), 8 October 1987; & JP-A-6299705 (HITACHI LTD) 9 May 1987 *

Cited By (16)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5146519A (en) * 1990-08-28 1992-09-08 Corning Incorporated Rotary variable optical tap
EP0477459A1 (en) * 1990-08-28 1992-04-01 Corning Incorporated Rotary variable optical tap
US5217517A (en) * 1991-03-27 1993-06-08 Alcatel N.V. Method of manufacturing a fused fiber coupler
EP0505828A1 (en) * 1991-03-27 1992-09-30 Alcatel SEL Aktiengesellschaft Method for the fabrication of an optical fusion-coupler
WO1993002374A1 (en) * 1991-07-25 1993-02-04 Honeywell, Inc. Optical coupler housing
US5283847A (en) * 1991-09-09 1994-02-01 Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. Method of manufacturing and evaluating an optical fiber coupler and apparatus therefor
EP0531937A1 (en) * 1991-09-09 1993-03-17 Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd Method of manufacturing and evaluating an optical fiber coupler and apparatus therefor
US6236782B1 (en) 1995-08-29 2001-05-22 Arroyo Optics, Inc. Grating assisted coupler devices
US6289699B1 (en) 1995-08-29 2001-09-18 Arroyo Optics, Inc. Wavelength selective optical couplers
US5805751A (en) * 1995-08-29 1998-09-08 Arroyo Optics, Inc. Wavelength selective optical couplers
US6578388B1 (en) 1995-08-29 2003-06-17 Arroyo Optics Inc. Grating assisted coupler devices
US5875272A (en) * 1995-10-27 1999-02-23 Arroyo Optics, Inc. Wavelength selective optical devices
US6169830B1 (en) 1996-08-26 2001-01-02 Arroyo Optics, Inc. Methods of fabricating grating assisted coupler devices
US6465153B1 (en) 1996-08-26 2002-10-15 Arroyo Optics, Inc. Methods of fabricating grating assisted coupler devices
WO1998011463A2 (en) * 1996-09-10 1998-03-19 University Of Southampton Optical fibre device
WO1998011463A3 (en) * 1996-09-10 1998-04-30 Univ Southampton Optical fibre device

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
GB8813624D0 (en) 1988-07-13 grant
EP0418286A1 (en) 1991-03-27 application

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