Optoelectronics

Reliable hermetic optical fibre feedthroughs

21st February 2020
Alex Lynn

Passing optical fibres through extreme environments and between ambient and harsh conditions is a non-trivial exercise. LASER COMPONENTS’ solution for this engineering hardship is a range of hermetic feedthroughs- standard and custom-made.

Hermetic fibre-optic feedthroughs allow for easy delivery of optical signals through a physical barrier (such as the panel of a chamber), the purpose of which is to isolate an environment from another environment and to prevent any leakage from one side of the barrier to the other side.

Two places where a feedthrough must maintain a seal are at the barrier itself, and at the hole where a fibre is passing through. Not maintaining a tight and hermetic seal in those two areas can result in a critical system failure. In order to provide a world-leading hermeticity, seals are maintained with an internal fibre rod, identical to the fibre used upstream and downstream, as well as a top-quality flange and gasket system. These allow us to meet stringent sealing and leak tightness requirements.

When using our feedthroughs one can achieve hermeticity in various extreme environments, ie. one side can be high pressure (up to 1,000 bars) while other can be high vacuum; the temperature on both sides can be either extremely elevated (600°C) or extremely cold (0.5K); either side can be extremely corrosive or/and radiative. 

Depending on the application, the design of a feedthrough can be significantly different, ie. single or mutli-fibre feedthrough; fixed or reconfigurable; bulkhead or inline. Particular attention must be devoted to both the choice of materials and the choice of the sealing technology.

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