Fused biconic tapered (FBT) couplers are essential components in today's telecommunications networks where they are used for a number of different applications. The manufacturing process consists of aligning two adjacent fibres from which the buffer has been stripped, and subsequently heating and stretching them, creating an input taper, output taper either side of the fused coupling region. It is the coupling region where energy transfer between cores is possible; this gives the device its main characteristics, and the basic geometry can be used to create a range of devices such as 3 dB splitters, tap couplers, WDMs, etc. Low losses for these devices are achievable if made with reference to the adiabatic approximation. In this paper we report the development of a laser-based rig for the manufacture of couplers in which a CO<sub>2</sub> laser replaces the gas torch typically used as a heat source in modern manufacturing processes. In addition to the use of a laser source, we describe the integration of advanced optical techniques and feedback mechanisms to improve the workstation's reliability and flexibility. These characteristics should be advantageous for efficient manufacture of standard devices and novel devices for niche applications.
In this paper we give an overview on NTera's novel reflective display technology with real 'ink-on-paper' readability. Our technology is based on mesoporous wide-bandgap semiconductor films modified with self-assembled monolayers of electrochromic chromophores. The direct vicinity of each electrochromophore to the semiconductor allows its electronic addressing in the millisecond domain. The high molar extinction coefficient of the organic chromophores in conjunction with the extremely large specific surface area of the mesoporous semiconductor substrate allows to achieve deep colorations with high contrast ratios. Combined with a unique white reflector technology yielding reflectivities above 50 percent and excellent angular contrast independnece, oru displays show outstanding optical properties, comparable to those of ink on paper. Applying simple printing techniques these displays can be manufactured from commercially available nanomaterials like TiO<sub>2</sub> or other doped or undoped metal oxides. Along with favorable electronic properties like low power consumption and excellent open-circuit memory electrochromic displays seriously rival conventional LCD display applications.