Patent Number: 6,168,317

Title: Alignment adapter for an optical connector and method for making same

Abstract: An alignment adapter for use with a multi-fiber, optical connector that is in the form of a substantially planar slab having a central opening for receiving a connector therethrough. The slab includes a pair of alignment apertures on opposing sides of the central opening that are positioned in a defined spatial relationship with the fibers held in the multi-fiber connector. According to an aspect of the invention, the alignment adapter includes a pair of alignment rods held in the alignment apertures that are used to convert an optical connector into a male type connector. According to another aspect of the present invention, a connector is disclosed having a plurality of channels for holding optical fibers and a pair of alignment apertures positioned adjacent to the fiber holding channels in a defined spatial relationship. When the connector is received through the central opening of the alignment adapter, the alignment apertures of the alignment adapter precisely register with the alignment apertures formed in the connector. The precision with which the alignment apertures of the alignment adapter register with the alignment apertures in the connector is a result of a process that involves etching a monocrystalline material, typically silicon, to form a plurality of parallel fiber grooves and a pair of alignment grooves. Using this etched material as a template, an inverse replica is created that is separated into two parts. One part is used as a pattern for making the alignment adapter members, the other part is used as a pattern for making the connector members.

Inventors: Shahid; Muhammed A. (Snellville, GA)

Assignee: Lucent Technologies Inc.

International Classification: G02B 6/38 (20060101); G02B 006/38 ()

Expiration Date: 01/02/2018