Fabrication of Micro-Pipes and Their Applications to Single-Mode Fiber Switching and Splicing

Shinji NAGAOKA  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E80-C   No.2   pp.280-284
Publication Date: 1997/02/25
Online ISSN: 
DOI: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Micromachine Technology)
Category: Optical Application
Keyword: 
micromachining,  optical switch,  single-mode fiber,  micro-pipe,  

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Summary: 
This paper describes the fabrication of micro-pipes and their applications to splicing parts and optical switches using single-mode fibers. Micro-pipes having almost the same inner diameter of bare fiber (125 µm) and lengths of around 5 mm are successfully mass-produced by using micromachining technology. We fabricate various kinds of metal pipes such as Au, Cu, Ni, and an FeNi alloy by selecting the appropriate electro-plating bath. We use an Au micro-pipe having a small slitted portion running along its axis (slitted micro-pipe) to splice single-mode fibers. We also use an FeNi alloy micro-pipe to construct a single-mode fiber switch. These new single-mode fiber devices employing micro-pipes show excellent optical and mechanical characteristics. Splicing losses are in the range of 0.2-0.4 dB. The developed 1 2 latching type single-mode fiber switches exhibit a low insertion loss of 0.35 dB, a minimum switching speed of 2 ms with a driving power of 9 mW, and stable operation for more than 108 switchings without damage. A practical application of the developed switch for testing optical devices is also demonstrated.