Optoelectronics at CALCE represents our vision of active evolvement with new trends in technology. CALCE is fully equipped to perform failure analysis and optical characterization of state-of-the-art optical semiconductor and fiber optic devices. CALCE has teamed with the Mechanical Engineering Department's Photomechanics Laboratory, which is a 3,500 square feet facility devoted to fiber optic sensor development and optoelectronic reliability. CALCE also makes full use of Failure Analysis and Environmental Testing facilities in the assessment of optoelectronic products and systems.
Manufacturing Induced Stresses in Fiber Optic Connector Assemblies
Fiber optic connectors are passive optical components used to connect fiber joints. They are used in data and communication systems, and in ground, air and space applications. In an effort to characterize manufacturing induced stresses, and to develop health monitoring tools for fiber optic connectors, fiber grating sensors have been embedded in fiber optic connector assemblies. The goal of this research will be to develop a fiber-optic sensor capable of measuring temperature and axial strain in terminated optical fibers.
Our sensors are applied to commercial fiber connector designs currently being examined for commercial and military applications. We apply in-fiber Bragg grating and In-Line Fiber Etalon structures to measure temperature and axial strain inside the connector during thermal cure of encapsulant epoxies, fiber polish procedures and under a variety of environmental conditions. Our sensor design is non-destructive and in-situ, and these sensors represent an innovative tool for measuring the mechanical performance of the connector over its life cycle. A primary benefit resulting from this research will be increased manufacturing yield of fiber optic connectors, identification of critical parameters affecting long term connector performance, and assessment of the mechanical performance of several standard fiber connector designs.
Failure and Degradation Mechanisms in Plastic Packaged Light Emitting Diodes
Deployment of light emitting diode (LED) devices has rapidly increased due to the dramatic increase in the use of optically based communication, information processing and imaging systems. These contemporary optical applications include consumer products, industrial sensing and control, or data network processing, and the systems can be deployed in office, manufacturing or space and military environments. These factors coupled with the increased competitiveness of the high technology industries highlight the importance of low-cost optical sources in next generation products. As well, high reliability and stable operation of the source is critical to system integrity. We have initiated a program of accelerated testing and failure analysis in cooperation with several low-cost LED manufacturers to identify failure mechanisms related to high humidity environments, and to outline effective test and screening methods for these products.