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1. (WO2007001924) OPTICAL DEVICE WITH CANTILEVERED FIBER ARRAY AND METHOD
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We Claim:

1. A fiber alignment device, comprising:
a base having at least one alignment groove;
a stripped portion of an optical fiber positioned in the at least one alignment groove; and
a cover, wherein a terminal end of the fiber extends beyond at least one of an end face of the base and an end face of the cover, wherein the cover is bonded to the base to secure the optical fiber between the base and the cover, wherein an end face of the cover and the end face of the base are substantially non-parallel.

2. The fiber alignment device of claim 1 , wherein the terminal end of the fiber extends beyond the end face of the base.

3. The fiber alignment device of claim 1 , wherein the fiber alignment device is configured so that the cover end face extends beyond the end face of the base.

4. The fiber alignment device of claim 1 , wherein the base end face extends beyond the end face of the cover.

5. The fiber alignment device of claim 1, wherein at least one of the cover and the base further includes a support region to support a non-stripped portion of the fiber.

6. The fiber alignment device of claim 1, wherein the base further includes a plurality of alignment grooves spaced apart substantially in parallel to receive a plurality of optical fibers.

7. The fiber alignment device of claim 1, wherein at least one of the cover and the base includes a channel formed in a direction transverse to the at least one alignment groove.

8. The fiber alignment device of claim 1 , wherein the base comprises one of silicon, quartz, and borosilicate glass and wherein the cover comprises fused silica or quartz, wherein at least one edge of the cover is chamfered.

9. The fiber alignment device of claim 1, wherein the end face of the cover is proximate to the end face of the fiber.

10. An in-process structure for a fiber alignment device, comprising:
a base having at least one alignment groove;
a stripped portion of an optical fiber positioned in the at least one alignment groove having a terminal end; and
a cover bonded to the base securing the optical fiber between the base and the cover, wherein at least one of the cover and the base has at least one transverse channel, oriented transverse to the at least one alignment groove, and where at least one of the cover and the base has at least one sacrificial region.

11. An optical device, comprising a cantilevered fiber array coupled to a planar lightwave circuit,
wherein the cantilevered fiber array comprises a base supporting at least a portion of at least one optical fiber in a fiber guiding channel and a cover bonded to the base and/or the at least one optical fiber, wherein a terminal end of the at least one optical fiber extends beyond an end of at least one of the base and cover, and
wherein the planar lightwave circuit comprises a planar waveguide formed on a substrate, the planar waveguide including a waveguide core, wherein the terminal end of the fiber of the cantilevered fiber array is disposed in an alignment groove formed in a portion of the planar lightwave circuit substrate.

12. The optical device of claim 11 , wherein the planar lightwave circuit comprises a transverse channel formed in the planar lightwave circuit substrate at an optical interface of the waveguide core and the terminal end of the at least one optical fiber.

13. The optical device of claim 11 , wherein the cantilevered fiber array includes a plurality of fibers, spaced apart substantially in parallel, disposed in a plurality of fiber guiding channels, wherein the planar lightwave circuit comprises a waveguide having a plurality of waveguide cores and a plurality of grooves formed in the planar lightwave circuit substrate.

14. The optical device of claim 115 further comprising an ultraviolet curable index matching adhesive to bond the cantilevered fibers to the planar lightwave circuit.

15. The optical device of claim 11 , wherein the planar lightwave circuit includes a planar waveguide formed on a substrate, the planar waveguide including a waveguide core, and a transverse channel formed in the substrate of the planar lightwave circuit between an end of the alignment feature and a first face of the waveguide core.

16. The optical device of claim 15, wherein the cantilevered fiber array is part of a removable connector assembly that is mated with a planar lightwave circuit fitted with a receptacle part, wherein the removable connector is mated with the receptacle part and the fibers of the cantileverd fiber array are inserted in v-grooves integrated on the planar lightwave circuit to provide optical coupling between the fibers and waveguides.

17. The optical device of claim 15, wherein the cantilevered fiber array is part of a readout system that interrogates the planar lightwave circuit device configured as a sensor, wherein the cantilevered fiber array is registered with the v-grooves and waveguides of the planar lightwave circuit so that the readout system couples optical signals in and out of the planar lightwave circuit sensor.

18. A method of forming a fiber alignment device, comprising:
providing a base having at least one alignment groove formed in a first surface thereof;
providing a cover;
forming a transverse channel, oriented transverse to the at least one alignment groove, in at least one of the first surface of the base and a first surface of the cover;
placing a stripped potion of an optical fiber in the at least one alignment groove;
bonding the cover to the base to secure the optical fiber between the first surface of the base and the first surface of the cover; and
releasing a portion of at least one of the base and the cover at the transverse channel.

19. The method of claim 18, further comprising polishing a terminal end of the optical fiber prior to the releasing step.

20. The method of claim 18, wherein after the releasing step, a terminal end of the optical fiber extends beyond at least one of an end face of the cover and an end face of the base.

21. The method of claim 18, wherein the releasing step comprises applying a force to at least one of a sacrificial region of the base and a sacrificial region of the cover, wherein the direction of the force is transverse to at least one of the plane of the base and the plane of the cover.

22. A method of forming a plurality of fiber alignment devices, comprising:
providing a base having an array of base portions, wherein each of the base portions has at least one alignment groove on a first surface of the base;
forming a transverse channel in the base, where the transverse channel is oriented transverse to the at least one alignment groove;
placing a stripped potion of an optical fiber in the at least one alignment groove in each of the base portions;
bonding a cover on the top surface of the base substrate to secure the at least one optical fiber between the base and the cover;
singulating the base to form the alignment devices; and
removing a sacrificial portion of at least one of the base and the cover.

23. A method of forming a fiber alignment device, comprising:
preparing an optical fiber cable that includes a plurality of fibers, wherein the preparing step comprises at least one of coiling, stripping and cleaving one or more of the fibers of the optical fiber cable;
preparing a base to receive the prepared optical fiber, wherein the preparing step further includes forming a plurality of alignment grooves on a first surface of the base;
providing a cover, wherein the cover includes a substantially planar inner surface and a transverse channel formed in the substantially planar inner surface;
placing the prepared optical fibers in the alignment grooves; and
bonding the cover on the top surface of the base substrate to secure the prepared optical fibers between the base and the cover.