Glass Solder Approach for Robust, Low-Loss, Fiber-to- Waveguide Coupling

The key advantages of this approach include the fact that the index of interface glass (such as Pb glass n = 1.66) greatly reduces Fresnel losses at the fiber-to-waveguide interface, resulting in lower optical losses. A contiguous structure cannot be misaligned and readily lends itself for use on aircraft or space operation. The epoxy-free, fiber-to-waveguide interface provides an optically pure, sealed interface for low-loss, highpower coupling. Proof of concept of this approach has included successful attachment of the low-melting-temperature glass to the x–y plane of the crystal, successful attachment of the low-meltingtemperature glass to the end face of a standard SMF (single-mode fiber), and successful attachment of a wetted lowmelting- temperature glass SMF to the end face of a KTP crystal.

There are many photonic components on the market whose performance and robustness could benefit from this coupling approach once fully developed. It can be used in a variety of fibercoupled waveguide-based components, such as frequency conversion modules, and amplitude and phase modulators. A robust, epoxy-free, contiguous optical interface lends itself to components that require low-loss, high-optical-power handling capability, and good performance in adverse environments such as flight or space operation.

This work was done by Shirley McNeil, Philip Battle, and Todd Hawthorne of AdvR, Inc.; and John Lower, Robert Wiley, and Brett Clark of 3SAE Technologies, Inc. for Goddard Space Flight Center. GSC-16348-1

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