US 9,810,845 B2
Flexible optical fiber array
Victor Il'ich Kopp, Fair Lawn, NJ (US)
Assigned to Chiral Photonics, Inc., Pine Brook, NJ (US)
Filed by CHIRAL PHOTONICS, INC., Pine Brook, NJ (US)
Filed on Sep. 21, 2016, as Appl. No. 15/272,216.
Claims priority of provisional application 62/221,869, filed on Sep. 22, 2015.
Prior Publication US 2017/0227716 A1, Aug. 10, 2017
Int. Cl. G02B 6/12 (2006.01); G02B 6/30 (2006.01); G02B 6/02 (2006.01); G02B 6/024 (2006.01); G02B 6/32 (2006.01)
CPC G02B 6/30 (2013.01) [G02B 6/024 (2013.01); G02B 6/02042 (2013.01); G02B 6/32 (2013.01)] 22 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. An optical coupler array for optically coupling a plurality of optical fibers to at least one optical device, comprising:
an elongated optical element having a first end operable to optically couple with said plural optical fibers, and a second end operable to optically couple with the at least one optical device, further comprising:
a common single coupler housing structure;
a plurality of longitudinal waveguides each positioned at a predetermined spacing from one another in a particular one of a plurality of different cross-sectional geometric waveguide arrangements, such that each plural longitudinal waveguide is disposed at an individual corresponding cross-sectional geometric position, relative to other plural longitudinal waveguides, each having a capacity for at least one optical mode of a predetermined mode field profile, each embedded in said common single housing structure, wherein at least one of said plural longitudinal waveguides is a vanishing core waveguide, each said at least one vanishing core waveguide comprising:
an inner vanishing core, having a first refractive index (N-1), and having a first inner core size (ICS-1) at said first end, and a second inner core size (ICS-2) at said second end;
an outer core, longitudinally surrounding said inner core, having a second refractive index (N-2), and having a first outer core size (OCS-1) at said first end, and a second outer core size (OCS-2) at said second end, and
an outer cladding, longitudinally surrounding said outer core, having a third refractive index (N-3), a first cladding size at said first end, and a second cladding size at said second end; and
a medium having a fourth refractive index (N-4) surrounding said plural longitudinal waveguides, wherein a predetermined relative magnitude relationship between said first, second, third and fourth refractive indices (N-1, N-2, N-3, and N-4, respectively), comprises the following magnitude relationship: N-1>N-2>N-3, wherein a total volume of said medium of said common single coupler housing structure, is greater than a total volume of all said vanishing core waveguides inner cores and said outer cores confined within said common single coupler housing structure, and wherein said first inner vanishing core size (ICS-1), said first outer core size (OCS-1), and said predetermined spacing between said plural longitudinal waveguides, are simultaneously and gradually reduced, in accordance with a predetermined reduction profile, between said first end and said second end along said optical element, until said second inner vanishing core size (ICS-2) and said second outer core size (OCS-2) are reached, wherein said second inner vanishing core size (ICS-2) is selected to be insufficient to guide light therethrough, and said second outer core size (OCS-2) is selected to be sufficient to guide at least one optical mode, such that:
light traveling from said first end to said second end escapes from said inner vanishing core into said corresponding outer core proximally to said second end, and
light traveling from said second end to said first end moves from said outer core into said corresponding inner vanishing core proximally to said first end, wherein in at least one of said vanishing core waveguides, said outer core comprises a secondary outer core longitudinally surrounding said outer core, having a fifth refractive index (N-2A), and wherein a predetermined relative magnitude relationship between said first, second, third, fourth, and fifth refractive indices (N-1, N-2, N-3, N-4, and N-2A respectively), comprises the following magnitude relationship: N-1>N-2>N-2A>N-3, and wherein in accordance with said predetermined reduction profile, between said first end and said second end along said optical element comprises a flexible portion wherein said outer core size (OCS-F) is selected to be insufficient to guide light therethrough, and said secondary outer core size (SOCS-F) is selected to be sufficient to guide at least one optical mode therethrough.