We have developed a low-loss bidirectional optical coupler for high-speed optical communication with plastic optical fibers (POFs). The coupler, which is fabricated by an injection molding method that uses poly(methyl methacrylate), has an antisymmetric tapered shape. We show that the coupler has low insertion and branching losses. The tapered shape of the receiving branch reduces beam diameter and increases detection efficiency coupling to a photodetector, whose area is smaller than that of the plastic optical fiber. The possibility of more than 15-m bidirectional transmission with a signaling bit rate up to 500 Mbits/s for simplex step-index POFs is demonstrated.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 14, 2004
Revised Manuscript: December 24, 2004
Manuscript Accepted: January 15, 2005
Published: May 20, 2005
Tatsuya Sugita, Tomiya Abae, Kouki Hirano, and Yuzo Itoh, "Bidirectional optical coupler for plastic optical fibers," Appl. Opt. 44, 2933-2942 (2005)