Hermetic packaging is frequently mandated for certain optical fiber devices in high-reliability systems. The fiber-package interface must then be hermetic in addition to providing optical coupling and mechanical protection of the fiber. When the silica fiber surface is metallized, this hermeticity may be achieved by a solder seal between the fiber and surrounding metallic housing. Although the technique is commonly used for high-reliability devices, the issue of fiber strength and fatigue for the metallized fiber has not been discussed. Experiments performed in our laboratory show that surface reactions which promote bonding of the metal to the silica fiber tend to reduce the strength of the silica but that the metal layer can also seal the silica surface from external moisture thereby reducing the static fatigue rate. This paper evaluates the strength and fatigue of fused silica fiber having a vacuum deposited multicom-ponent metallization.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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