Fiber optical couplers are used to both split and combine optical signals in optical fibers. As passive optical components, they are often used in data transmission. The broad range of products includes SM, PM, MM, and POF couplers as well as planar splitters.
The multimode couplers are available for all common multimode cables
Multimode couplers are manufactured using a technique or fusion technique. They are available for all common multimode fibers with core diameters from 50 µm to 1500 µm.
Fusion and taper couplers offer different advantages. They are used for signal division and signal combination.
Fusion couplers' mode-sensitivity of the coupling ratio can couse problems in certain applications.
When coupling conditions alter, the ratio of the coupler may also change, for example a 50/50 coupler may become a 75/25 coupler.
The taper coupler from SEDI is a mode-insensitive, wavelength-independent alternative to fusion couplers. The coupling ratio remains virtually unchanged, even with varying coupling conditions. Another important advantage of a taper coupler is its absolute wavelength independence.
Manufacturing of taper couplers
When manufacturing a taper coupler with a splitting ratio of 50/50, the ends of the two fibers are first beveled to a specified angle equal to half of the fiber diameter and then polished. The two fibers are glued to a third fiber, forming a Y-shape.
The mode field of the input signal is effectively split down the middle. Thus, the coupler ratio for all modes is practically the same. Other division ratios can be achieved by simply varying the polish section angle of the fibers.
Areas of Application for Taper Couplers
The main areas of application for taper couplers are the so-called "large core” fibers. These are step index fibers with a core diameter of 200 µm – 1000 µm. The couplers can be supplied in various designs and assembled for use with all common connectors. They are available for all common multi-smode fibers with core diameters ranging from 50 µm to 1500 µm.