Abstract

A survey of the optical quality of commercial and experimental Selfoc GRIN-rod lenses was made using a digital Twyman-Green wave-front interferometer. The technique provides an accurate and reproducible method for predicting lens performance in microoptic devices. Wave-front aberrations are reported for ¼ pitch lenses measured in a double-pass configuration. It was found that spherical aberration is dominant in commercial lenses. SLW ¼ pitch lenses have lower aberrations than SLS lenses and are quite suitable for microoptic devices based on fiber-to-fiber coupling. Measured multimode coupling efficiency under steady-state modal propagation is compared to measured spherical aberration for a number of lenses. The slope of the coupling dependence on spherical aberration was found to be −0.1 dB/wave. Effects due to mechanical alignment and the modal distribution in the fibers had a greater influence on the measured coupling efficiency than the contribution due the intrinsic lens aberrations, especially for the SLW lenses. Comparison of this empirical dependence with theoretical predictions for a uniform distribution, which suggests a stronger dependence, is discussed. This work suggests that commercially available GRIN-rod lenses are suitable for use in microoptic components.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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