Fiber end caps from OpTek deliver optimum performance for a range of applications, including high power fiber laser, collimator’s and sealing PCF. Fiber end caps are created by fusion splicing or laser fusing short lengths of material to the fiber end face. Fiber end caps are required for a number of applications including the creation of collimator’s, to allow expansion of high power fiber laser beams to reduce the power density at the air/silica interface and to protect structured fibers against environmental ingress. Laser processing allows the large core fibers to be cleaved, free of the hackle and chips observed with mechanical scribing techniques, prior to the splicing operation. Following the splicing operation, the end caps can be laser cleaved to the final protrusion (length), angle, and orientation (i.e. stress rods) specifications.
For end caps with a similar diameter to that of the fiber, a larger cored fiber, typically “coreless” or “graded index” fiber is spliced to singlemode or multimode transmitting/gain fiber. The process requires the ability to cleave large fibers (200-600μm), splice the fibers to the end cap, and precisely cleave the end cap relative to the splice point.
In applications requiring a greater expansion of the beam at the air interface than can be achieved within the diameter of the fiber, laser fusing is used to join end caps with significantly larger diameter. By controlled delivery and profiling of the laser energy, a strong and reliable join is achieved regardless of the size mismatch.
End capping may also be applied in combination with laser lensing to create an all silica construction with the optimum optical characteristics.
OpTek’s proprietary LaserCleave process delivers controlled end face geometry and angle control, while sealing the open structure of structure optical fiber against the ingress of environmental elements.