1 September 2015 Fiber coupler end face wavefront surface metrology
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Despite significant technological advances in the field of fiber optic communications, one area remains surprisingly ‘low-tech’: fiber termination. In many instances it involves manual labor and subjective visual inspection. At the same time, high quality fiber connections are one of the most critical parameters in constructing an efficient communication link. The shape and finish of the fiber end faces determines the efficiency of a connection comprised of coupled fiber end faces. The importance of fiber end face quality becomes even more critical for fiber connection arrays and for in the field applications. In this article we propose and demonstrate a quantitative inspection method for the fiber connectors using reflected wavefront technology. The manufactured and polished fiber tip is illuminated by a collimated light from a microscope objective. The reflected light is collected by the objective and is directed to a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor. A set of lenses is used to create the image of the fiber tip on the surface of the sensor. The wavefront is analyzed by the sensor, and the measured parameters are used to obtain surface properties of the fiber tip, and estimate connection loss. For example, defocus components in the reflected light indicate the presence of bow in the fiber end face. This inspection method provides a contact-free approach for quantitative inspection of fiber end faces and for estimating the connection loss, and can potentially be integrated into a feedback system for automated inspection and polishing of fiber tips and fiber tip arrays.
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David C. Compertore, David C. Compertore, Filipp V. Ignatovich, Filipp V. Ignatovich, Michael A. Marcus, Michael A. Marcus, } "Fiber coupler end face wavefront surface metrology", Proc. SPIE 9576, Applied Advanced Optical Metrology Solutions, 95760M (1 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2186627; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2186627

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