Passively Aligned Single-Mode VCSEL Transceivers

Period of Performance: 05/07/1998 - 11/06/1998

$65K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Picolight, Inc.
4622 Sunshine Canyon Dr.
Boulder, CO 80302
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Phase I Small Business Innovation Research proposal aims to develop a revolutionary single-mode optical sub-assembly (SMOSA), i.e. a laser or detector having external electrical connections and which has efficient optical coupling with a single-mode fiber. The proposed SMOSA is distinguished from existing single-mode technology in that it: 1) is based on vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs); 2) does not require the laser or detector to be activated for alignment (i.e. it is passively aligned); and 3) should have an overall cost which is drastically lower. Other advantages of the SMOSA are detailed in the proposal, which also distinguish it from existing technology. The Phase I program will first perform rigorous simulations to evaluate tolerances to translational and angular alignments and to beam, fiber and other imperfections. The simulations will be carried out for both transmit and receive ends of the fiber. Experiments will then be performed to evaluate the ability to package VCSELs and detectors within the tolerances using only passive alignment. Results of all these activities will be combined with other practical evaluations to determine the feasibility of manufacturing single-mode transceivers by the proposed method. Ruggedness and reliability tests will be performed in the Phase II development.