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Proceedings Paper

New technology developments make passive laser/fiber alignment a reality
Author(s): John V. Collins; Brian M. MacDonald; I. F. Lealman; C. A. Jones
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Paper Abstract

In this paper we report on the combination of a precision cleaved large spot laser and a silicon micromachined optical bench to achieve high coupling efficiencies by purely passive alignment. Coupling efficiencies of over 50% have been obtained by passively aligning precision cleaved large spot sized lasers to singlemode fiber on a silicon micromachined substrate. This is the highest known coupling figure reported for passive alignment. The packaging of semiconductor laser chips has always presented a range of technical problems due to the sub-micron tolerances required to obtain optimum coupling of the small laser spot size to the larger spot size of a singlemode fiber. Lasers have been developed that can ease these tolerances by matching the laser spot size to that of cleaved fiber. This is achieved by tapering the active layer to adiabatically expand the laser mode size. A method of controlling the physical size of laser diode chips to sub-micron accuracy has enabled these lasers to be bonded against substantial alignment features on a silicon micro-engineered optical bench which also includes a V-groove into which a cleaved single-mode optical fiber can be fixed. Results are also discussed for an alternative ferrule-based, non-hermetic laser packaging design which utilizes the relaxed alignment tolerances of the large spot lasers to give simple package assembly suitable for automation. Both of the packaging technologies discussed offer a viable route to obtaining the very low cost optoelectronic components required for fiber to the home networks.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 January 1996
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2610, Laser Diode Chip and Packaging Technology, (15 January 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.230074
Show Author Affiliations
John V. Collins, BT Labs. (United Kingdom)
Brian M. MacDonald, BT Labs. (United Kingdom)
I. F. Lealman, BT Labs. (United Kingdom)
C. A. Jones, BT Labs. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2610:
Laser Diode Chip and Packaging Technology
Pei Chuang Chen; Tomas D. Milster, Editor(s)

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