How do fiber optic connectors work? The history of fiber optic telecommunications deserves an entire book, as it took a number of generations to get the industry today.

Optical fiber is a long thin, cylindrical fiber made of glass or plasticthat is as tiny as one tenth of a human hair. A typical optical fiber for telecom is composed of three cylindrical layers, counted from the inside out: fiber core (diameter 8x10um) as well as cladding (diameter of 125um) and buffer coating (diameter 9000um).

The fiber core and cladding are made of glass or silica. Fiber Core and Cladding layers are used to keep the light inside the core and prevent it from losing. Fiber buffer coating is made from acrylic or plastic and provides handling flexibility and physical protection for the fiber.

Fiber optics employ an optical phenomenon known as total internal reflection. When light is in the fiber from the end face, it is contained within the core, without leaking outside and losing its energy.

Then light is digitally modulated to represent 1 and 0 , just as a computer. As such, data can be transmitted from one site to another one, which could be located from San Francisco all the way to New York.

What are fiber optic connectors ? And how do they function?

Now you understand how optical fibers work. So what is an optical connector and what is its purpose in a fiber optic telecommunication network?

Simply put, a fiber optic connector’s function is similar to an electric power source, it connects light from one section of optical fiber with a different section of optical fiber.

Since optical fibers are small, fiber optic connectors have to be constructed with high precision, at the size that is 0.1um which is one hundredth of the human hair.

Fiber optic connectors are positioned to align two fibers end to end in a way that light can be transferred from one fiber to another without bouncing off the interface , and thus losing its signal.

Besides the fact that fiber optic connectors offer cross connect flexibility for the telecommunications network. Thus, a complex computer network could be made modular and simple to manage.

Similar to other connectors utilized in the electronic industry, electric industry, or computer industry, many different types connected to fiber optic cables were developed during the evolution of the fiber optic communication industry. Some of them once were highly popular in the market but they have since served their purposes and are becoming obsolete.

The most popular fiber optic connectors in use today comprise SC, ST, LC, FC, MTRJ, SMA as well as a few lesser-known ones. There are certain to be new connectors developed with the progress of this industry.