Optical fiber feedthroughs for vacuum applications

Spectrum of the VACOM standard fiberOptical fibers are commonly used in vacuum systems for metrological scopes. Possibilities for the application occur  when the illuminated or illuminating subject is hard to examine in a free beam configuration. Optical fibers allow for a high degree of flexibility regarding the conduction of light.
The optical path length through the material is much longer compared to common viewports with a free beam propagation. Therefore, chromatic dispersion has to be considered. Depending on its application and the properties of the fiber those effects can be either reduced or totally suppressed. In the manufacturing process of fiber feedthroughs, VACOM uses standard fibers to allow for maximum compatibility and ease of use.

Properties of optical fiber feedthroughs

Optical fiber feedthroughs for vacuum applications join the properties of two different disciplines of engineering. On the one hand the properties of the device have to fulfill the standards of vacuum technology like the choice of materials, maximum bake-out temperature, outgassing behavior, and He-leakage rate.
On the other hand the optical requirements have to be met. Primarily, these are a low insertion loss and a high return loss. Additionally, the feedthrough has to be compatible with common fiber connectors like FC/APC,  FC/PC or FSMA.

Applications of optical fiber feedthroughs

Optical fiber feedthroughs match a broad spectrum of applications. For example,  they are used  for interferometric displacement measurement or confocal chromatic measurement techniques. In case of interferometric displacement measurement, single mode fibers are commonly used. Multimode fibers with a small core diameter are often used for confocal metrology. Beyond that, multimode fiber feedthroughs may be used at spectroscopic applications like plasma spectroscopy or white light spectroscopy.

VACOM offers fiber feedthroughs with various standard singlemode and multimode fibers as well as customized fiber cables for vacuum-side and atmosphere-side applications.

VACOM also offers specific customized solutions with non-standard fibers. For those requests, VACOM has an experienced team of experts in optics, materials and vacuum technology. Our sales representatives will assist you  with answering your questions.

Non-standardized solutions have been developed for:

  • Collimating optics for vacuum applications
  • Feedthrough of a fiber bundle
  • Customized metal coated fibers for vacuum applications
  • Stainless steel protection tubes to guide fibers
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