AFL presents at SPIE Photonics West 2016

Usman Nasir, Doug Duke, Eric Basso and Amine Jebali will all be presenting at SPIE Photonics West 2016 on February 16th from 6:00-8:00pm. Topics and abstracts for each presentation are below.


Benefits of CO2 laser heating for high reliability fiber splicing

Usman B. Nasir, Douglas M. Duke, Elli Saravanos (Corning)



The use of a CO2 laser as a heat source became commercially available for optical fiber splicing and component fabrication only in recent years. In addition to long-term trouble-free and low-maintenance heat source operation, laser fusion splicing offers unique benefits for fabrication of high-power optical components, as well as for splice strength.

CO2 laser heating is different from other heating methods in that the power from the CO2 laser beam is efficiently absorbed by the outer layer of the glass, which in turn conducts the energy inwards. In this case, there is no consumable heating element such as electrodes or resistive filaments that may leave contaminants or deposits on the glass surface. The CO2 absorptive heating can also be very well controlled, with minimal vaporization and re-deposition of the glass itself. The CO2 laser beam can be guided and shaped for processing certain fiber types and combinations that do not process well by other methods. CO2 laser enables radiative heating in addition of absorption, permitting glass processing techniques that are not supported by alternative heating methods.

Heating by a CO2 laser results in a contamination-free glass surface, with little surface damage or irregularity, hence contributing to remarkable physical (splice) strength. Splice strength data shows that the CO2 laser fusion splicer can produce results within the breaking strength range of pristine (un-stripped, un-spliced) fiber. Improvements in fiber preparation methods (especially fiber stripping and cleaning) can enable better exploitation of the high strength splicing benefits of laser fusion splicing.



Graphical Fiber Shaping Control Interface

Eric T. Basso, Yasuyuki Ninomiya



In this paper, we present an improved graphical user interface for defining single-pass novel shaping techniques on glass processing machines that allows for streamlined process development. This approach offers unique modularity and debugging capability to researchers during the process development phase not usually afforded with similar scripting languages.



Polarization and wavelength insensitive optical feedback control systems for stabilizing CO2 lasers

M. A. Jebali



Power scaling of multi-kilowatt fiber lasers has been driving the development of glass and fiber processing technology. Designed for processing of large diameter fibers, this technology is used for the fabrication of fiber-based components such as end-pump and side pump combiners, large diameter endcaps, ball lenses for collimators and focusers… The use of 10.6um CO2 lasers as a heating element provides incomparable flexibility, process control and repeatability when compared to conventional heating methods. This low maintenance technology provides an accurate, adjustable and uniform heating area by absorption of fused silica of the 10.6m laser radiation. However, commercially available CO2 lasers can experience power, polarization and mode instability, which becomes important at 20W levels and higher of output power. This paper presents a polarization and wavelength insensitive optical feedback control system for stabilizing commercially available CO2 lasers. Less than 1% power fluctuation was achieved at different laser power levels, ranging from as 5 to 40W.