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FIBER

CONNECTOR
S

INTRODUCTION

Connectors are mechanisms (or) techniques used to join


an optical fiber to another fiber (or) to fiber optic
component.

Connector design must allow for repeated connection &


disconnection without problems of the fiber alignment.

Demountable connectors are more difficult to achieve

AREAS WHERE CONNECTORS ARE


NEEDED

Optical fiber connectors are considered in 3 major areas


Fiber

termination protects & locates fiber end

Fiber

end alignment provide optimum optical

coupling
Outer

shell maintains connection & fiber

alignment

REQUIREMENTS OF A GOOD
CONNECTOR

Coupling loss:

The connector assembly must maintain stringent alignment


tolerances to ensure low mating losses.
The losses should be around 2 to 5 percent (0.1 to 0.2 dB) and
must not change significantly during operation and after
numerous connects and disconnects.

Interchangeability:

Connectors of the same must be compatible from one


manufacturer to another

Ease of assembly:

A service technician should be able to install the connector in a


field environment (i.e.,) in a location other than the connector
attachment factory

CONTD.

Low Environmental Sensitivity:

Low Cost & Reliable Construction:

Conditions such as temperature, dust and moisture should have


a small effect on connector loss variations.

The connector must have a precision suitable to the application,


but it must be reliable & its cost must not be a major factor in
the system.

Ease of Connection:

Except for certain unique applications, one should be able to


mate & disconnect the connector simply & by hand.

TYPE OF FIBER CONNECTORS

Connectors

Butt Joined Connectors

Expanded Beam Connectors

(i) Cylindrical Ferrule Connectors


(ii) Biconical Ferrule Connectors

(iii) Double Eccentric Connectors

(iv) Duplex & Multiple fiber Connectors

BUTT JOINTED CONNECTORS

Most widely used type

Used for both single mode & multi mode fiber systems

They depends on the alignment of two prepared


fiber ends butted (close proximity) to each other so
that the fiber axes coincide.

CYLINDRICAL FERRULE
CONNECTORS
Basic ferrule connector

Also called as Concentric Sleeve Connector

The fibers to be connected are permanently bonded


with epoxy resin in metal plugs called as Ferrule.

Ferrules have accurately drilled center hole in their


end face through which the fiber is stripped

The two ferrules are placed in the alignment sleeve


which allows fiber ends to be butt joined

Ferrules are held in place by retaining mechanism


(spring)

CONTD

CONTD.

Fiber alignment accuracy depends on ferrule hole into


which the fiber is inserted

For this purpose a watch jewel is made in the ferrule


end face

Watch

jewel

allows

close

diameter

&

tolerance

requirement of the ferrule end face hole

Numerous cylindrical sleeve ferrule connectors are


commercially

available

for

multimode fiber termination

both

single

mode

&

CONTD.

The most common ones are


Straight

tip (ST)

Subminiature
Fiber

assemble (SMA)

connector (FC)

Miniature

unit (MU)

Subscriber

connector (SC)
Average losses for multimode graded index fiber &
single mode fibers are 0.2 & 0.3 dB respectively

Irfan khan

ST connector

SC connector

Irfan khan

FC connector

MU connector

BICONICAL FERRULE CONNECTORS

This type of connector uses a tapered sleeve to accept


& guide tapered ferrules
The plugs (or) ferrules are either molded directly on to
the fiber (or) cast around the fiber using a silica loaded
epoxy resin
After this, the fiber end faces are polished and inserted
into the biconical center sleeve
Average connector loss is 0.28dB

DOUBLE ECCENTRIC CONNECTORS

This type of connectors are adjustable


This type allows close alignment of fiber axes
It has two eccentric cylinders within the outer plug (or)
ferrule
Rotation operation is used inorder to get accurate axes
assembly
Losses will be of 0.48dB

DUPLEX & MULTIPLE FIBER


CONNECTORS
Duplex connectors provide two way communication

Fig shows media interface connector plug


The connector plug will directly connect with LAN
components
It has 2 ST ferrules placed in a protective molded
shroud
Has a loss of 0.6dB

CONTD.

The fig shows a multiple connector using V-grooved


silicon chip
In this connector, ribbon fiber were mounted and
bonded into V-grooves that forms a plug

CONTD.

This type of multiple fiber connector has a loss of 0.8dB


When index matching gel is used the loss can be
reduced to 0.4dB

EXPANDED BEAM CONNECTORS


Expanded beam connector employs lenses on the end of
the fibers.
The lenses collimate the light emerging from the
transmitting fiber and focuses the beam on the
receiving fiber
The fiber to lens distance is equal to the focal length
Connector is less dependent on the lateral alignment
Beam splitters or switches can be inserted between the
fibers

CONTD..

In expanded beam connectors there are two lenses for


collimating & refocusing the light from one fiber into
other.

Expanded beam connectors are useful for multi-fiber


connection & edge connection for printed circuit boards
(PCB)

Two

examples

of

connectors are given

lens

coupled

expanded

beam

CONTD..
In the fig, the connector utilizes spherical micro
lenses for beam expansion & reduction
It has an average loss of 1dB and can be reduced to
0.7 dB by using anti-reflection coating on the lenses
& using graded index fiber of 50m diameter
The same can be used for single mode fibers also but
the core diameter of the fiber should be 2.5mm

CONTD..

The fig below shows an expanded beam connector with molded


spherical lens
The fiber is placed at the focal length of the lens to obtain
collimated beam
Lens alignment sleeve is used to minimize the effect of angular
misalignment
The connector structure also has ferrule, grommet, spring &
external housing
Has a loss of 0.7dB

GRIN ROD LENSES


Efficient beam expansion & collimation within
expanded beam connectors is that of the graded index
(GRIN) rod lens
The GRIN rod has a cylindrical glass rod of 0.2 to 2mm
in diameter and has a parabolic refractive index profile
It can produce a collimated output beam with a
divergent angle () 1deg & 5deg

RAY PROPAGATION EQUATION

Ray propagation through GRIN rod lens is given by the


equation

r radial co-ordinate
z- distance along optical axis
n-refractive index at a point
The refractive index is given as

A positive constant

CONTD.

On solving we get a general eqn for refractive index as

This was given by Miller

PITCH LENGTH:
The traversion of one sinusoidal period is
termed as one full pitch

CONTD.
GRIN rod lens can be manufactured with several pitch
lengths. Three of which are discussed here
0.25 pitch (quarter) lens:

Produces

a perfectly collimated o/p beam when i/p light


comes from point source from the opposite lens
Lens focuses an incoming light beam to a point at the center
of the opposite lens face
Focal point coincides with lens face & provides direct butted
connection to the fiber

CONTD.

0.23 pitch lens:


Focal point lies outside the lens when collimated
beam is projected on the opposite lens
Used to convert diverging beam from a fiber (or) laser
diode into collimated beam

CONTD.

0.29 pitch lens:


Both the focal points lie outside the lens end face
Used to convert diverging beam into converging