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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 18, Iss. 5 — Mar. 1, 1993
  • pp: 325–327

Aligning and attaching a lens to an optical fiber using light pressure force

J. Mervis, A. H. Bloom, G. Bravo, L. Mills, F. Zarinetchi, M. Prentiss, and S. P. Smith  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 18, Issue 5, pp. 325-327 (1993)

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We demonstrate two simple and inexpensive methods of using the force exerted by the light transmitted through an optical fiber to center a lens on the fiber core with submicrometer accuracy. By choosing the appropriate lens one can either focus, collimate, or defocus the light emerging from the fiber. We discuss extensions of this technique to a wider variety of lenses and light sources, including semiconductor lasers.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: October 16, 1992
Published: March 1, 1993

J. Mervis, S. P. Smith, A. H. Bloom, G. Bravo, L. Mills, F. Zarinetchi, and M. Prentiss, "Aligning and attaching a lens to an optical fiber using light pressure force," Opt. Lett. 18, 325-327 (1993)

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  1. M. L. Dakss, B. Kim, Electron. Lett. 16, 464 (1980). [CrossRef]
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  5. In addition to the force associated with the intensity gradient, which pulls the ball toward the center of the surface of the fiber core, there is a force due to reflection, which pushes the ball away from the fiber surface. In our experiments the surface tension between water and the ball confined the ball in the z direction. As the water evaporated the ball was pulled toward the fiber core while the gradient force kept the ball centered along the core axis.
  6. A. Ashkin, J. M. Dziedzic, Phys. Rev. Lett. 30, 139 (1973). [CrossRef]
  7. A. Yariv, Introduction to Optical Electronics (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1971).
  8. We also did a series of tests in which we dipped the fiber in the mixture of water and polystyrene balls and allowed the water to evaporate without any light. Only 1 in 100 attempts produced a lens that was even nearly centered. This is more than 20 times worse than the success rate for centering in the presence of the light.

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