Fiber-to-fiber coupling through use of a laser-trapped microball lens is examined. Amodel based on radiation pressure predicts that the ball lens will align axially between the fiber endfaces. Laser manipulation of the ball lens axial position results in a configuration in which the ball lens optically bridges the gap between the fibers. Experimental results are presented for several fiber endface separations, and it is found that the presence of the microball lens can increase the coupling by a factor of 2 above the level expected by direct fiber-to-fiber coupling for the same fiber endface separation.

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Journal Applied Optics
Gauthier, R, Friesen, M. (Michael), Gerrard, T. (Thomas), Hassouneh, W. (Wissam), Koziorowski, P. (Piotr), Moore, D. (Damian), … Uttamalingam, S. (Sivasanker). (2003). Self-centering of a ball lens by laser trapping: Fiber-ball-fiber coupling analysis. Applied Optics, 42(9), 1610–1619.