Cleaning and Care: PROFAs can be cleaned with alcohol much like a bare fiber tip. Care must be taken to avoid breaking or chipping the tip. Any damage to the tip will likely cause the device to be unusable and unrepairable.
Holder-Compatible Package: The PROFA1D is available with a holder-compatible package design to simplify holding in a standard 6.35 mm (0.25″) diameter fiber chuck holder.
Fiber chuck holding products which hold a 0.25″ (6.35 mm) fiber can be used to hold the PROFA1D with the holder compatible package. This would include some Newport 561 series accessories, like the 561-FC (https://www.newport.com/p/561-FC) or 561-GM (https://www.newport.com/p/561-GM) or similar products from Thorlabs (http://www.thorlabs.com/newgrouppage9.cfm?objectgroup_id=1175), for example. There are, of course, other comparable choices as well.
Alignment, Coupling and Packaging: The device is aligned similarly to other micro-optic devices, e.g. similar to working with lensed fibers. Using the PROFA, the most efficient and stable coupling to a waveguide is achieved by butt coupling. Often customers will use index matching liquids or adhesives but this is not required.
PROFA standard products are rigid fiber optic couplers. This product is often used in probing. However, in packaging, when attaching to a die, we typically use a PROFA with a flexible tip. This flexibility enables the PROFA-die interface to be mechanically decoupled from the package. We have developed processes and materials for packaging that may vary, depending on the application needs.
Chiral Photonics will be very supportive in transferring the materials knowledge and process knowledge to our customers. There is a fair amount of customization with regard to coupling that depends on the design (e.g. channel count, mode field size, SM vs. PM, die edge design and quality) and the application needs. Therefore, we strongly suggest that we work with the customer initially to package the device at Chiral Photonics. After we have done that and the customer has received and is satisfied with the packaging, we will transfer the details of materials and process, if desired, so that the customer can take it in-house and just order the couplers and do the packaging themselves. Ideally, after the customer is satisfied with the initial package, we will be happy to host the customer at Chiral Photonics to see how we packaged the device hands-on. Alternately, we can document the packaging process and materials and make that available to the customer.
Rough Alignment: Initial rough rotational alignment of the single channel PROFA1D is easiest done in the far field using a 1550 nm laser and projecting onto an infrared visualizer. One can use this to achieve rough alignment of the device inside a chuck, for example, to the device’s slow/long axis (shorter axis in the far-field). The device is then ready to be aligned finely to, for example, a waveguide.
For the PROFA1D array, rough axial alignment can be done by visually aligning the flats that are parallel to the channel array axis.
Fine Alignment: A five axis stage with at least +/-0.1 micron resolution is typically used for XYZ motion as well as angular alignment. The needed stage resolution will depend on the mode field sizes one is working with and the application. A general rule of thumb is 10% of the mode field diameter, or 0.2 μm for a standard PROFA1D. For an example of one customer’s measured stage resolution requirements of 0.3 microns, please see C. R. Doerr et. al., “Tapered Dual-Core Fiber for Efficient and Robust Coupling to InP Photonic Integrated Circuits,” in Optical Fiber Communication Conference and National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference, OSA Technical Digest (CD) (Optical Society of America, 2009), paper OThN5.