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Method for optical and mechanically coupling optical fibers

United States Patent

5,560,760
October 1, 1996
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
A method and apparatus for splicing optical fibers. A fluorescing solder glass frit having a melting point lower than the melting point of first and second optical fibers is prepared. The solder glass frit is then attached to the end of the first optical fiber and/or the end of the second optical fiber. The ends of the optical fibers are aligned and placed in close proximity to each other. The solder glass frit is then heated to a temperature which is lower than the melting temperature of the first and second optical fibers, but which is high enough to melt the solder glass frit. A force is applied to the first and second optical fibers pushing the ends of the fibers towards each other. As the solder glass flit becomes molten, the layer of molten solder glass is compressed into a thin layer between the first and second optical fibers. The thin compressed layer of molten solder glass is allowed to cool such that the first and second optical fibers are bonded to each other by the hardened layer of solder glass.
Toeppen; John S. (Livermore, CA)
The United States of America as represented by the United States (Washington, DC)
08/ 321,694
October 12, 1994
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California.