Precisely Molded Plastic V-Grooved Alignment Parts for Multi-Port Optical Devices

Michiyuki AMANO  Yasuaki TAMURA  Fumiaki HANAWA  Hirotsugu SATO  Norio TAKATO  Shun-ichi TOHNO  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E82-C   No.8   pp.1525-1530
Publication Date: 1999/08/25
Online ISSN: 
DOI: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Joint Special Issue on Recent Progress in Optoelectronics and Communications)
Category: Optical Passive Devices and Modules
Keyword: 
plastics,  molding,  optical fiber alignment,  V-grooved parts,  

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Summary: 
Precise plastic V-grooved alignment parts for connecting single-mode optical fiber arrays to multi-port optical devices were successfully molded with a thermosetting resin by using a highly productive injection molding technique. The molded parts are two types of V-grooved blocks that are compatible with the size of optical devices having eight or twelve optical ports. Their dimensional accuracy must be better than 1 µm over the whole length of the V-grooves for efficient optical coupling. This strict requirement was satisfied using precisely processed molding tools with a specially chosen resin under optimum molding conditions. The feasibility of the optical alignment parts was assured by an evaluation of their loss characteristics and reliability in coupling single-mode fibers to 18 power splitters, where the average optical loss was 0.2 dB and the change in loss was less than 0.2 dB under a temperature cycling test and also under a damp heat test. These results show that plastic molded parts can be used for precise coupling of single-mode optical devices, and will lead to a breakthrough in innovation in the field of optical packaging.