Ever since Thorlabs acquired the versatile FiberBench product line from Optics For Research (OFR) in 2007, we have been fine tuning the overall design to offer more long-term stability and excellent coupling efficiency. These FiberBenches form the foundation of a nearly infinite array of miniature fiber optic systems that customers have been building for the last decade. When used with the FiberPort Collimators/Couplers, a complete optical circuit can be constructed.
The all-stainless steel construction offers the stability required when building fiber optic systems. Thorlabs offers Single-Axis and Multi-Axis FiberBenches, both of which are featured below. For basic systems that require only one input and one output path, the Single-Axis FiberBenches are ideal; for more complex systems that require multiple inputs and outputs, we recommend the use of the Multi-Axis FiberBenches.
One of the main advantages of building FiberBench systems is that all the components are aligned along common beam paths (14.3 mm above the deck) that are parallel to the base. Thus, they simplify setups that would normally require extensive alignment procedures. The equally sized and uniformly spaced mounting holes on the FiberBenches are designed to hold a wide array of FiberBench accessories. Except for some mounts that would go on the side of the FiberBenches, all the accessories have dowel pins that can be easily inserted into the FiberBenches. For more information or custom requests, please contact FiberBench@Thorlabs.com.
Multi-Axis FiberBench with FiberPorts in Three of the Four Available Locations, Along with Some Common FiberBench Components Click to Enlarge
A continuously variable attenuator can be assembled using the FiberBench components listed in the table below. The FiberPort collimates the beam from a SM or PM fiber, and the collimated beam then goes through a calcite walk-off polarizer where it is split into its respective horizontal (P) and vertical (S) components. The orientation of the wave plate controls how much energy is in the beam. It can be rotated to give the desired attenuation - zero, partial, or full. The signal then enters a reversed calcite walk-off polarizer where it will be recombined or further separated. The only energy that will couple back into the output fiber is the signal on the central axis. The central beam will then be focused into the output fiber by the output PAF FiberPort.
The RABH wave plate is rotated so that there is only one output beam; this also means that the input and output polarizations are the same.
The RABH wave plate is rotated so that there are three output beams. The RABH orientation will control how much energy is in each beam. The only energy that will couple into the fiber is the energy in the central beam. The attenuation range is 1 to 40 dB with any value in between.
The RABH wave plate is rotated so that there are two output beams, which will be displaced to the left and to the right of the center. In this position, there will be minimal coupling efficiency, resulting in a maximum attenuation of 40 dB.
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HCA3 and HCA3-SM1 Mount a FiberPort Collimator/Coupler to a FiberBench
Includes Mounting Screws
Includes Retaining Rings for SM-Threaded Versions
The Wall Plates can be attached to the sides of a FiberBench using the two included 8-32 mounting screws. The HCA3 and HCA3-SM1 are commonly used to mount FiberPorts to FiberBenches using the four included 2-56 screws (see image to the right). While the HCA3 offers a counterbored hole, the HCA3-SM05 and HCA3-SM1 feature our SM05 (0.535"-40) or SM1 (1.035"-40) thread standard, respectively. The HCA3-SM1 is also commonly used with other SM1-threaded devices such as Thorlabs' Photodetectors.