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Fiber optic assembly and method of making same

United States Patent

5,664,040
September 2, 1997
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
There is provided an assembly having a light guiding medium sealed to a her. Preferably the holder is a metal shell and a light guiding medium is an optical fiber of glass or sapphire whisker. The assembly includes a sealing medium which sealingly engages the metal holder to the fiber. In the formation of the assembly, the seal is essentially hermetic having a capability of minimizing leakage having a helium leak rate of less than 1.times.10.sup.-8 cubic centimeters per second and high strength having a capability of withstanding pressures of 100,000 psi or greater. The features of the assembly are obtained by a specific preparation method and by selection of specific starting materials. The fiber is selected to have a sufficiently high coefficient of thermal expansion which minimizes strains in the component during fabrication, as a result of fabrication, and during use. The other components are selected to be of a material having compatible coefficients of thermal expansion (TEC) where the TEC of the holder is greater than or equal to the TEC of the sealing material. The TEC of the sealing material is in turn greater than or equal to the TEC of the fiber. It is preferred that the materials be selected so that their respective coefficients of thermal expansion are as close as possible to one another and they may all be equal.
Kramer; Daniel P. (Centerville, OH), Beckman; Thomas M. (Barkhamstead, CT)
The United States of America as represented by the Department of Energy (Washington, DC)
08/ 520,635
August 29, 1995
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC04-88DP4395 awarded by the United States Department of Energy to E.G.& G. Mound Applied Technologies.