In this letter, we report a means of fabricating microlenses on transparent spacers that are self-aligned to optical fibers. The lenses so formed have f-numbers (f#s) as low as f/1.55 and can be fabricated with minimal processing steps. Lenses can be fabricated desirably "over-sized," with input apertures larger than operational beam diameters. The lenses deviate from spherical by as little as ±80 nm over the middle 90% of their surfaces, and are diffraction limited when used in their paraxial regions. Previous work suggests that arrays of such lenses can be fabricated in parallel with good uniformity (Δ f/f ∼ ± 5.9% for a 15 × 15 array or 500 μm f/1.4 lenses), stability, and reproducibility (average f#s are reproducible to within 3.5%). Although coupling efficiencies have not been measured, these values suggest that the lenses are of sufficient quality for a variety of multimode fiber applications.
- Optical fiber devices
- Optical fibers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering