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A Study on Optical Fiber Damage Due to Optoelectronic Assembly Processes

[+] Author Affiliations
Kaustubh R. Nagarkar, Krishnaswami Srihari

State University of New York at Binghamton

Peter Borgesen

Universal Instruments Corporation

Paper No. IMECE2005-83030, pp. 399-405; 7 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Electronic and Photonic Packaging, Electrical Systems Design and Photonics, and Nanotechnology
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4217-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Optoelectronic assembly processes, such as laser and photodiode packaging, connector assembly, and splicing, tend to involve extensive handling of optical fibers. These processes offer considerable likelihood of inducing severe damage to the fibers. Such damage degrades the strength of optical fibers and could result in lower than expected lifetimes in service. The objective of this research was to investigate the impact of fiber-optic assembly processes on the mechanical performance of optical fibers. Certain applications such as fiber-optic splices, connectors, and optoelectronic packages require that the protective coating of the fibers be removed through a process called ‘fiber-stripping’. The process of ‘fiber-stripping’ was characterized to identify the primary sources of mechanical degradation. The related handling and cleaning steps were also evaluated. Further, the process steps in the assembly of fiber optic connectors were closely examined and the impact of assembling fibers into adhesives was tested. Qualitative and quantitative tools have been used to investigate the problems and have been discussed in this paper. Tensile tests were used to compare the mechanical performance of the fibers. Special fixtures and test set-ups were created that enabled the testing of the fibers. Characterization techniques, such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analysis and optical microscopy, were also used. The results have enabled to identify the contributions of the individual assembly steps that impair the strength of optical fibers. This paper provides an understanding of the potential sources and mechanisms of degradation due to such processes.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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