Analysis of Side-Polished Few-Mode Optical Fiber

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Date
2019-04-29
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

Side-polished fiber allows access to the evanescent field propagating in the cladding of a few-mode fiber. This cladding mode is analyzed and experimentally validated to further the design of a novel class of fiber optic devices. To do this, specific modes are excited in the polished fiber using a phase-only spatial light modulator to determine spatial mode distribution. Each mode is excited and compared to the expected field distribution and to confirm that higher order modes can propagate through side-polished fiber. Based on each mode’s distribution, a side-polished fiber can be designed so that perturbations on the polished portion of the fiber effect each mode independently. By carefully analyzing the effects of identical perturbations on each mode, it is determined that each mode can be isolated based on the geometry of the polished fiber and careful alignment of the mode field. This research has the potential to advance the development of novel fiber-based sensors and communications devices utilizing mode-based interferometry and mode multiplexing.

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Keywords
side-polished fiber, few-mode, fiber optics, weakly-guiding fiber
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