27 April 2016 Plasma treatment of fiber facets for increased (de)mating endurance in physical contact fiber connectors
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Abstract
It is known that cleaving an optical fiber introduces a number of irregularities and defects to the fiber’s end-face, such as hackles and shockwaves. These defects can act as failure initiators when stress is applied to the end-face. Given the fiber’s small diameter of 125 ffm, a large amount of mechanical stress can be expected to be applied on its end-face during the mating-demating cycle. In addition, a connector in a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network can be expected to be mated and demated more than 30 times during its lifetime for purposes such as testing, churning, or provisioning. For this reason, the performance of a connector that displays low optical loss when first installed can dramatically degrade after few mating-demating cycles and catastrophic connector failure due to end-face breakage is likely. We present plasma discharge shaping of cleaved fiber tips to strongly improve the endurance of the fibers to repeated mating-demating cycles. We quantify the dependency of the plasma-induced surface curvature of the fiber tip on the plasma duration and on the position of the fiber tip within the plasma cloud. Finally we present data showing the improved endurance of fibers that are exposed to plasma compared to conventional as-cleaved fibers.
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Jürgen Van Erps, Jürgen Van Erps, Kevin Voss, Kevin Voss, Martijn De Witte, Martijn De Witte, Radu Radulescu, Radu Radulescu, Stefano Beri, Stefano Beri, Jan Watté, Jan Watté, Hugo Thienpont, Hugo Thienpont, } "Plasma treatment of fiber facets for increased (de)mating endurance in physical contact fiber connectors", Proc. SPIE 9888, Micro-Optics 2016, 98880K (27 April 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2225230; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2225230
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