A simple low-cost Y-branch plastic optical fiber (POF) coupler which can be assembled easily by the end users has been developed. The acrylic-based Y-Branch POF coupler consists of input POF fiber, a middle high index contrast waveguide taper and output POF fibers. The optical device is based on a 1x2 Y-branch coupler design with a middle high index contrast waveguide taper. Non-sequential ray tracing has been performed on the device giving an insertion loss of 4.68 dB and coupling ratio of 50:50. The middle waveguide taper region is constructed on the acrylic block itself without using any additional optical waveguiding medium injected into the engraved taper region. Fabrication of the devices is done by producing the device structures on an acrylic block using high speed CNC machining tool. Input and output POF fibers are inserted in to this device structure in such a way that they are passively aligned to the middle waveguide taper structure. The first prototype device shows an insertion loss of 7.5 dB and a splitting ratio of 50:50. A second prototype device which includes additional U-groove slots for the jacketed fibers shows an insertion loss of 5.9 dB and a splitting ratio of 50:50.
1. Zubia, J. and J. Arrue, "Plastic optical fibers: An introduction to their technological processes and applications," Optical Fiber Technology, Vol. 7, No. 2, 101-140, 2001. doi:10.1006/ofte.2000.0355
2. Kawase, L. R., "Passive optical fiber devices," Polymer Optical Fibers, American Scientific Publishers, California, 2004.
4. Mizuno, H., O. Sugihara, T. Kaino, N. Okamoto, and M. Ohama, "Compact Y-branch-type polymeric optical waveguide devices with large-core connectable to plastic optical fibers," Japanese Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 44, No. 2, 8504-8506, 2005. doi:10.1143/JJAP.44.8504
5. Klotzbuecher, T., T. Braune, D. Dadic, M. Sprzagala, and A. Koch, "Fabrication of optical 1 × 2 POF couplers using the laser-LIGA technique," Proc. SPIE, Vol. 4941, 121-132, 2003. doi:10.1117/12.470165
6. Takezawa, Y., S. Akasaka, S. Ohara, T. Ishibashi, H. Asano, and N. Taketani, "Low excess losses in a Y-branching plastic optical waveguide formed through injection molding," Applied Optics, Vol. 33, No. 12, 2307-2312, 1994. doi:10.1364/AO.33.002307
7. Ehsan, A. A., S. Shaari, and M. K. Abd-Rahman, "Design and fabrication of an Acrylic-based 1 × 2 POF coupler using CNC machining," IEEE Int. Conf. Semicond. Electron., 306-310, 2008.
8. Ehsan, A. A., S. Shaari, and M. K. Abd-Rahman, "Acrylic and metal based Y-branch POF splitter with optical NOA63 polymer waveguide taper region," Optical Review, Vol. 18, No. 1, 80-85, 2011. doi:10.1007/s10043-011-0036-9
9. Ehsan, A. A., S. Shaari, and M. K. Abd-Rahman, "Low cost 11×2 Acrylic-based plastic optical fiber coupler with hollow taper2 Acrylic-based plastic optical fiber coupler with hollow taper waveguide," PIERS Online, Vol. 5, No. 2, 129-132, 2009. doi:10.2529/PIERS080904035327
10. Ehsan, A. A., S. Shaari, and M. K. Abd-Rahman, "1×2 Y-branch plastic optical fiber waveguide coupler for optical access-card system," Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 91, 85-100, 2009. doi:10.2528/PIER09012903
11. Ehsan, A. A. and M. K. Abd-Rahman, "Optimization of device model for metal-based 1×2 Y-branch plastic optical fiber coupler," IEEE Int. Conf. Photonics, 5-7, 2010.
12. Mogensen, K. B., J. El-Ali, A. Wolff, and J. P. Kutter, "Integration of polymer waveguides for optical detection in microfabricated chemical analysis systems," Applied Optics, Vol. 42, No. 19, 4072-4078, 2003. doi:10.1364/AO.42.004072
13. Beltrami, D., Planar multimode waveguides and devices, Ph.D. Thesis, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 1997.