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Development of metallized optical fibers with microlenses of special geometries

Grant number: 14/22770-5
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: March 01, 2016 - February 28, 2018
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Electrical Engineering
Principal Investigator:João Batista Rosolem
Grantee:João Batista Rosolem
Company:Já! - Indústria e Comércio de Produtos e Serviços de Tecnologia da Informação e Comunicação Ltda
City: Campinas
Assoc. researchers: Adriana Caceres Braga ; Jorge Fernandez Herrera

Abstract

To go along with rapid advances occurring in the information technology, the fiber optic industry continually strives to improve their own efficiency, the production of new materials, lenses capable of meeting such requirements and new metallization processes. Without such improvements, new photonics devices will not be made possible. Thus, one common goal in all fiber optic industry is to search continuous improvement of production processes. In this project, we propose an innovation in the manufacturing stages of lenses in optical fibers with special geometries and in vacuum- and chemical- metallization processes not only to increase the coupling efficiency, but also the products portfolio of the company JA!, and thus supplying the demand for new lens options and metals in optical fiber. The photonic technology devices are being used in a wide variety of applications: telecommunications, medical, defense industry, aesthetics, materials processing among others. Thus, connectorize processes and Photonic Integrated Circuit Packaging (PIC-packaging) are very important stages to these devices could be able to work with high performances. In this context, the metallization step in a region of the optical fiber and its subsequent matching and alignment with the PICs are central issues in constant discussion and research in industry and laboratories. Focused on these needs JA! Technology works with the development, production and marketing of metallic fibers and microlenses (lensed fiber) for optical coupling for over 6 years, providing these components for some major companies of the category. However, due to the manual nature of many steps involved in the production, the company faces a number of difficulties in the manufacture and producing a limited range of products. Therefore, the aim of the project is the research and development of the design, fabrication and optic characterization of fibers metallized and with lenses that as a result will bring an improvement of production and competitiveness to the company. The project is divided into two phases: lensed fiber fabrication by polishing and subsequent deposition of a metal layer on a fiber section. The manufacture of microlenses with special geometries, that meet the new requirements of the photonics industry regarding the modes coupling and the consequent high efficiency, will be based on the assembly of a polishing machine with several degrees of freedom, as a micro machining center capable of controlling parameters such as polishing angle, rotation speed of the optical fiber and its further characterization. The metallization step is based on vacuum deposition of metal multi-layers and its subsequent thickening by an electrolytic or chemical process. Finally solder, tensile and bending tests will be conducted. As a result we expected to obtain more efficient manufacturing processes for metallized fiber as well as new lensed fibers production. The ability to customized fabrication and optical characterization of microlenses will allow JA! meets the needs of current customers and allow the company to open new markets and customers, especially those who work in medical and aesthetic areas. Thus, JA! could increase its market position as a strong supplier of specialty fibers for applications that require high customization and performance, strengthening the Brazilian photonic industry. (AU)