Miniaturization of medical imaging devices will significantly improve the workflow of physicians in hospitals. Photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technologies offer a high level of miniaturization. However, they need fiber optic interconnection solutions for their functional integration. As part of European funded project (InSPECT) we investigate fiber bundle probes (FBPs) to be used as multi-mode (MM) to single-mode (SM) interconnections for PIC modules. The FBP consists of a set of four or seven SM fibers hexagonally distributed and assembled into a holder that defines a multicore connection. Such a connection can be used to connect MM fibers, while each SM fiber is attached to the PIC module. The manufacturing of these probes is explored by using well-established fiber fusion, epoxy adhesive, innovative adhesive and polishing techniques in order to achieve reliable, low-cost and reproducible samples. An innovative hydrofluoric acid-free fiber etching technology has been recently investigated. The preliminary results show that the reduction of the fiber diameter shows a linear behavior as a function of etching time. Different etch rate values from 0.55 μm/min to 2.3 μm/min were found. Several FBPs with three different type of fibers have been optically interrogated at wavelengths of 630nm and 1550nm. Optical losses are found of approx. 35dB at 1550nm for FBPs composed by 80μm fibers. Although FBPs present moderate optical losses, they might be integrated using different optical fibers, covering a broad spectral range required for imaging applications. Finally, we show the use of FBPs as promising MM-to-SM interconnects for real-world interfacing to PIC’s.
Vanessa Zamora, Jens Hofmann, Sebastian Marx, Jonas Herter, Dennis Nguyen, Norbert Arndt-Staufenbiel, and Henning Schröder, "Fiber bundle probes for interconnecting miniaturized medical imaging devices," Proc. SPIE 10109, Optical Interconnects XVII, 101090R (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 31, 2017; Published: 20 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2251904.
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