Optical modules must be operated in a standardized manner. Any non-standard operation may result in implicit damage or even permanent failure.

Main Causes for Optical Module Failures

The main causes of optical module failures are optical links’ unavailability incurred by optical bore contamination and damage. The possible causes of optical bore contamination and damage are as follows:

  • The optical bore is exposed to the environment and contaminated by dust.
  • The end face of the fiber connector is contaminated.
  • The end face of the fiber connector with a pigtail is improperly used. For example, the end face is scratched.
  • A poor-quality fiber connector is used.

Protection Measures Against Optical Module Failures

  • ESD Prevention

1.When you transport optical modules, ensure that they are in ESD packages, and do not take them out unless necessary or place them at random.

Figure 1 ESD package

    2.Before touching an optical module, wear an ESD wrist strap or ESD gloves. Take full ESD measures when installing it.

Figure 2 ESD gloves

    3.Ensure that a device is properly grounded before you test or use it.

  • Physical Protection

1.Handle optical modules gently and protect them from falling. Lasers and thermoelectric coolers (TECs) inside optical modules can be easily broken or disconnected after collisions. Therefore, physical protections are required during optical module transportation and usage.

2.Tests on installation and removal of an optical module are based on manual operations. When installing an optical module, push it gently by hand. When removing an optical module, unlatch it first. Never use any metal tools during installation and removal.

Figure 3 Install the optical module

    3.Use a dedicated cotton swab to gently rub the stain on an optical bore. A non-dedicated cotton swab may cause damage to the optical bore. If the cotton swab is used with excessive force, the metal in the cotton swab may scratch the ceramic end face.


In order to greatly reduce the probability of failure of the optical module in use, it is best to choose an optical module with reliable and stable performance and guaranteed quality. At the same time, you must also know the correct and professional operation method.