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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 42, Iss. 3 — Jan. 20, 2003
  • pp: 550–565

Foundations for low-loss fiber gradient-index lens pair coupling with the self-imaging mechanism

Martin van Buren and Nabeel A. Riza  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 42, Issue 3, pp. 550-565 (2003)

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A fiber-optic collimator that emits a Gaussian beam with its beam waist at a certain distance after the exit face of the lens is labeled a self-imaging collimator. For such a collimator, the waist of the emitted Gaussian beam and its location are partly dependent on the properties of the gradient-index (GRIN) lens. Parameters for the self-imaging collimator are formulated in terms of the parameters of a GRIN lens (e.g., pitch, core refractive index, gradient index, length) and the optical wavelength. Next, by use of the Gaussian beam approximation, a general expression for the coupling power loss between two self-imaging-type single-mode fiber (SMF) collimators is, for the first time to our knowledge, derived as a function of three types of misalignment, namely, separation, lateral offset, and angular tilt misalignment. A coupling experiment between two self-imaging collimators with changing separation distance is successfully performed and matches the proposed self-imaging mechanism coupling loss theory. In addition, using a prism, lateral offset, as well as angular tilt, misalignments are experimentally simulated for a two self-imaging collimator coupling condition by a single collimator reflective test geometry. Experimental results agree well with the proposed loss formulas for self-imaging GRIN lenses. Hence, for the first time to our knowledge, the mathematical foundations are laid for employing self-imaging-type fiber collimators in SMF-based free-space systems allowing optimal design for ultra-low-loss coupling.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(060.2310) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics
(110.2760) Imaging systems : Gradient-index lenses

Original Manuscript: April 2, 2002
Revised Manuscript: September 3, 2002
Published: January 20, 2003

Martin van Buren and Nabeel A. Riza, "Foundations for low-loss fiber gradient-index lens pair coupling with the self-imaging mechanism," Appl. Opt. 42, 550-565 (2003)

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