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Mechanical Reliability and Bend Loss in Multimode Optical Fiber in Tight Bend Applications

Speaker Bio: Dr. Scott R. Bickham/Dr. Garth W. Scannell, Development Fellow/Senior Research Scientist, Corning Research and Development Corp.

Abstract: Dense optical connectivity applications have led to the development of connectors which require optical fibers to be bent at a very small radius in the 2 to 2.5 mm range. This deployment condition requires an assessment of the impact of the tight bend on both the mechanical reliability and the macrobend losses. This design scenario becomes even more complex when a multimode fiber (MMF) is used in these small form-factor optical interconnects due to the dependence of the macrobend loss on the launch condition from the laser. We combine measurements and modeling to illustrate that a restricted launch into the MMF is critical for ensuring that the coupling loss is less than 0.5 dB. To analyze the mechanical reliability in these tight bend scenarios, we utilize an expanded optical fiber strength distribution that was created by combining historical 20-meter gauge length testing data with new data measured on over one-thousand short length samples. The resulting distribution is scaled to a variety of lengths of interest using Weibull and non-parametric methods. The tight-bend regime of this comprehensive strength distribution indicates that a fiber with a reduced cladding diameter will have acceptable reliability over at least a 5-year lifetime.

About the Presenters: Dr. Scott R. Bickham is a Development Fellow in the Corning Research and Development Corp. supporting Corning Optical Communications. His responsibilities include the design, development and characterization of optical fibers. He received a B.S. in Physics from Purdue University in 1984 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from Cornell University in 1991 and 1995, respectively. Dr. Bickham holds over 100 patents relating to optical fibers and has co-authored over 70 publications.

Dr. Garth W. Scannell is a Senior Research Scientist in the Corning Research and Development Corp. working on fracture mechanics, fatigue, and reliability of materials. He received his B.S. in materials science and engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his doctoral degrees in materials science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Université de Rennes.

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