Very Low Loss Single Mode Fiber Coupling of Optoelectronic Devices

Period of Performance: 04/11/1996 - 04/19/1996

$721K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Sdl, Inc.
80 Rose Orchard Way
San Jose, CA 95134
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Achieving efficient coupling of a laser beam to a single mode fiber is a key goal in photonic device manufacturing and component packaging. The high coupling losses between the laser diode and single mode fiber remains the major obstacle to efficient optoelectronics packaging. Even with today's state of the art packaging techniques, as much as 40 to 70% of the light is lost when coupling semiconductor lasers to single mode fibers. SDL, Inc. proposes to remedy this situation by developing a very low loss semiconductor laser to single mode fiber packaging scheme. By combining novel laser structures with miniature fiber coupling optics, SDL will develop a fiber coupled package with less than 0.5 dB insertion loss. The fiber coupling scheme will be versatile, able to support many different fiber types, will have large alignment tolerances for high yield manufactruing, and have low back-reflection level into the laser device for low noise and low chirp operation. As a commercial demonstrator of this technology, SDL will develop prototype high power DFB laser diodes modules with over 100mW output from the fiber. During Phase I, SDL has already demonstrated low loss laser coupling directly into a cleaved fiber with less than 1 dB loss and large alignment tolerances. Phase II will pursue a combined approach by working both on improving the laser chip and the optical coupling scheme, resulting in the development of new laser diodes and single mode fiber packages with less than 0.5 dB coupling losses. Anticipated Benefits: This technology will dramatically improve the performance of virtually all fiber coupled semiconductor optoelectronic devices, such as high power DFB's for CATV headends and microwave links, Phased Array Antennas and cellular phone networks. Higher power pump laser modules will improve the performance of optical amplifiers used in telecom links. Other applications include semiconductor optical amplifiers, switches, WDM demultiplexers, wavelength converters and optical computing.