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FIBER CONFIGURATIONS

STEP INDEX FIBERS


Refractive Index Profile
Ray transmission and Mode density
Power flow in Core and Cladding
GRADED INDEX FIBERS
Refractive Index Profile
Ray transmission and mode density
SINGLE MODE FIBERS
SM Operation parameters
SM Designs
Step Index Fibers
Fiber with a core of constant refractive index n
1
and a cladding
of slightly lower refractive index n
2
.
Refractive index profile makes a step change at the core-cladding interface
The refractive index profile and ray transmission
in step index fibers: (a) multimode step index
fiber. (b) single-mode step index fiber.
Refractive index profile
n
1
r<a (core)
n(r) =
n
2
r> a (cladding)
Multimode Step Index
Single mode Step Index
Single mode SI fiber has a distinct advantage of low intermodal
dispersion (broadening), as only one mode is transmitted, whereas
with multimode SI fiber considerable dispersion may occur due to
the differing group velocities of the propagating modes.
For lower BW applications MMFs have several advantages over
single mode fibers.
Use of spatially incoherent sources (LEDs), which cannot
be coupled to single mode fibers;
Larger NA, as well as core diameters, facilitating easier
coupling to optical sources;
Lower tolerance requirements on fiber connectors;
This restricts the maximum bandwidth attainable with multimode SI
fibers, when compared with single mode fibers.
Modes in SI Fibers
MM SI fibers allow the propagation of a finite number of
guided modes along the channel.
Number of guided modes is dependent upon the physical parameters ; a, A
of fibers and wavelength of the transmitted light included in V-number
The total number of guided modes or mode volume M
s
for SI
fiber is related to V-number for the fiber by approximate
expression (G Gloge,1971, Weakly guided fibers)
M
s
~ V
2
/2
Allows an estimate of number of guided modes propagating in a
particular MM SI fiber.
For example: A MM SI fiber of core diameter 80m, core refractive index 1.48,
relative index difference of 1.5% and operating at 850nm supports 2873 guided
modes.
Power flow in Step-Index Fibers
Another quantity of interest in fibers is the fractional power
flow in the core and cladding for a given mode.
Thus EM energy of a guided mode is
carried partly in the core and partly in the
cladding.
The farther away the mode is from its cutoff
frequency the more concentrated its energy
in the core.
As cutoff is approached, the field penetrate
further into the cladding region and a
greater percentage of energy travels in the
cladding.
Four possible TE and TM fields and the
intensity distribution for the LP
11
mode.
The EM field for a given mode does not go to zero at the core-cladding
interface, but changes from oscillating form in the core to an exponential
decay in the cladding (Evanescent Field).
Fractional power flow in the cladding of a
SI fiber as a function of V.
Under weakly guided mode
approximation;
Gloge et al, has determined the
relative powers in core and
cladding for a particular modes as
P
P
1
P
P
core clad
=
Plots of fractional powers P
core
/P
and P
clad
/p for various LP
lm
modes
The relative amount of power flowing in the core and cladding
can be obtained by intergating Poynting vector in the axial
direction over the fiber cross-section.
S
z
= Re(EH
*
).e
z
Far from the cutoff the average power in the cladding has been
derived for the fibers in which many modes can propagate.
Because of this large number of modes, those few modes
that are appreciably close to cutoff can be ignored to a
reasonable approximation.
The total average cladding power is thus approximated by
2
1
M
3
4
P
P
total
clad

=
|
.
|

\
|
Here M is the total number of modes
entering the fiber
Since M is proportional to V
2
, the power flow in the cladding is
inversely proportional to V P
clad
decreases as V increases.
For V = 1; 70% of power flow in cladding
For V = 2.405; 20% of power flow in cladding.
Graded Index Fiber Structure
GI fibers do not have a constant refractive index in the core, but a
decreasing core index n(r) with radial distance from a maximum
value of n
1
at the axis to a constant value n
2
beyond the core
radius a in the cladding
Inhomogeneous core fibers
The refractive index profile and ray transmission in a multimode
graded index fiber.
Possible fiber refractive index profiles for
different values of o
o = ; Step index profile
o = 2; Parabolic profile
o =1; Triangular profile
Index variation is represented as
where, A is relative refractive index difference and o is the profile
parameter which gives the characteristic RI profile of the fiber core.
A helical skew ray path within a graded index fiber
Skew ray Propagation
An expanded ray diagram showing refraction at the
various high to low index interfacial within a graded
index fiber, giving an overall curved ray path.
Gradual decrease in RI from
the centre of the core creates
many refractions of the rays
effectively from large number
of high to low index interfaces
Ray is gradually curved with
an ever-increasing angle of
incidence, until conditions of
TIR are met.
Graded Index Fiber Parameters
Local numerical aperture
Axial numerical aperture
The parameters defined for SI fibers ( NA, A, V) may be applied to GI
fibers and give comparison between two.
However, in GI fibers situation is more complicated because of radial
variation of RI of core from the axis, NA is also function of radial distance.
Number of bound modes in graded index fiber is
|
|
.
|

\
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ o
o
~ A
|
.
|

\
|
+ o
o
=
2
V
2
) ka n (
2
M
2
2
1 g
For parabolic profile core ( o=2),
M
g
=V
2
/4 , which is half the number
supported by a SI fiber with sane V
value
Single-Mode Fiber (SMF)
Signal dispersion caused by delay differences between different modes in a
MMF may be avoided by designing fibers which allow only one mode to
propagate within an optical fiber.
Step-Index type with very small core radius.
Most common design: 8-10 /125m , NA ~ 0.1-0.15, Small A (< 1%)
SM propagation of LP
01
mode within range 0sV<2.405 with cutoff for LP
11
mode at V
c
=2.405.
n
r
1.465
1.460
SM-Graded Index Fibers
GI fibers may also be designed for single-mode operation.
Some specialist fiber designs do adopt such non-step index
profiles.
Cutoff value of normalized frequency V
c
to support a single GI
fiber
V
c
=2.405(1+2/o)

2
2
3
Possible to determine fiber parameters for SM operation
For parabolic profile core, V
c
= 2.4 ; increase by a factor of on SI case.
This gives a core diameter increased by similar factor with equivalent core RI
and same A.
Choosing triangular profile (o =1), a factor of can be achieved over
comparable SI fiber and hence larger core diameter SMFs may be produced
utilizing this index profile.
SMF- Cladding
Another problem with SMFs with low A and low V values
EM field associated with LP
01
mode extends appreciably into the cladding.
For V<1.4, over half the modal power propagates in the cladding.
Exponentially decaying evanescent field may extend significant
distance into the cladding.
Essential that cladding be of suitable thickness, and has low absorption
and scattering loses in order to reduce attenuation of the mode.
Estimates show that the necessary cladding thickness is of the order of
50m to avoid prohibitive losses in SMFs.
Thus, total fiber cross section for SMFs is of a comparable size to
MMFs, which is 125 m.
Single mode W-Fiber
Another approach to SMF design which allows the V value to
be increased above 2.405 is the W-fiber
Refractive index profile for a single-
mode W fiber
RI profile with two cladding regions.
Two step cladding allows the loss
threshold between the desirable and
undesirable modes to be substantially
increased.
The fundamental mode is fully supported
with small cladding loss with | in the
range kn
3
< |<kn
1
If the undesirable modes which are excited to have values of |<kn
3
, they will
leak through the barrier layer between a
1
and a
2
into the outer cladding region n
3
.
Consequently loose power by radiation into the lousy surrounding
W-design can provide SMFs with larger core diameters; proves useful for easing
joint difficulties reduced losses at bends.
Importance of SMFs
Although SMFs have emerged only since 1983, they have quickly
become the dominant and the most widely used fibers within
Telecom sector. Major reasons for this situation are;
They currently exhibit the greatest transmission bandwidths and the lowest
losses of the fiber transmission media.
They have a superior transmission quality over other fiber types because of
the absence of modal noise
They offer a substantial upgrade capability (i.e. future proofing) for future
wide bandwidth services using either faster optical transmitters and receivers
or advanced transmission techniques (e.g. coherent technology).
They are compatible with the developing integrated optics technology.
The above features provide a confidence that the installation of SMFs will
provide a transmission medium which will have adequate performance such
that it will not require replacement over its twenty-plus-year anticipated
lifetime.
Dispersion Optimized SMFs
In the conventional MC fibers, the region external to the core has a constant
uniform refractive index, which is slightly lower than the core region. Amode-
field diameter (MFD) of 10 m is typical for MC fibers with relative refractive
index differences of around 0.3%.
In the DC fibers the cladding region immediately adjacent to the core is of a
lower refractive index than that of an outer cladding region. Atypical MFD of a
DC fiber is 9 m with positive and negative relative refractive index
differences of 0.25%and 0.12%.
Most commonly used SMFs employ a SI profile and are dispersion optimized
for operation in the 1300nm wavelength region. These are either of a matched-
cladding (MC) or a depressed-cladding (DC) design.
More recent experimental MC fiber design employs a segmented core. Such a
structure provide conventional single-mode dispersion optimized performance
at wavelengths around 1.3 m but is multimoded with a few modes (two or
three) in shorter wavelengths. Helps to relax the tight tolerances involved
when coupled to LEDs and their connectorization.
Dispersion Optimized Designs
Single-mode fiber step index profiles optimized for operation at a wavelength
of 1.3 m: (a) conventional matched-cladding design; (b) segmented core
matched-cladding design; (c) depressed-cladding design; (d) profile
specifications of a depressed-cladding fiber.
Cutoff Wavelength
SM operation only above a theoretical cutoff wavelength,
c
:
( )
2
1
2
V
n a 2
c
1
c
A
t
=

c
is the wavelength above which a particular fiber becomes single-moded
c
c
V
V
=

Further, we can obtain :


For SI fiber, V
c
=2.405, the cutoff wavelength is
405 . 2
V
c

=
Power distribution:
At V=2.405: 80% of modes power in core
At V=1: only 30% power in core;
Do not want V too small, design compromise: 2<V
SM SI
<2.405
MFD an important parameter for characterizing SMF
properties. It takes into account the wavelength
dependent field penetration into the fiber cladding.
For single mode fibers better to measure the geometric
distribution of light in the propagating mode(MFD)
rather than the core diameter or the NA.
For SI and near parabolic profiles, field distribution is
almost Gaussian and MFD is generally taken as
distance between the opposite 1/e field amplitude or
1/e
2
power points.
MFD = 2W
0
; W
0
is mode-field radius
Mode-field diameter (MFD)
For real fibers and those with arbitrary RI profiles,
the radial field distribution is not strictly Gaussian
and hence alternative techniques have been proposed
Petermann Definitions
Effective Refractive Index
Convenient to define an effective refractive index for SMF, sometimes
referred to as a phase index or normalized phase change coefficient,
n
eff
= |/k ; ratio of propagation constant of the fundamental mode to that
of the vacuum propagation constant
Hence, wavelength of the fundamental mode
01
is smaller than the vacuum
wavelength by the factor 1/n
eff
i.e

01
= / n
eff
Rate of change of phase of fundamental LP
01
mode propagating along a straight
fiber is determined by phase propagation constant |, which is directly related to
the wavelength of the LP
01
mode
01
by the factor 2t.
|
01
= 2t or
01
= 2t/ |
It should be noted that the fundamental mode propagate in a medium with a refractive
index n(r) which is dependent on the distance r from the fiber axis. The effective
refractive index can therefore be considered as an average over the refractive index of
this medium.
Effective Refractive Index
At long wavelength (small V values), the MFD is large compared to the core
diameter and hence electric field extends far into cladding region.
The propagation constant | ~ n
2
k (cladding wave number) and effective
index will be similar to refractive index of the cladding n
2
. Physically,
most of the power is transmitted in the cladding material.
At short wavelength, the field is concentrated in the core region and |
approximate to the maximum wave number n
1
k
As the propagation constant for single mode fiber varies over the
interval n
2
k< | <n
1
k, hence, the effective refractive index will
vary over the range n
2
< n
eff
<n
1
Within normally clad fiber
Effective Refractive Index & Normalized
Propagation constant (b)
( )
2 2
2
2 2
1
2 2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
2
k n k n
k n
n n
n k /
b

|
=

|
=
Normalized propagation constant is
or
( )( )
( )( ) k n k n k n k n
k n k n
b
2 1 2 1
2 2
+
| + |
=
Taking the fact that |~n
1
k,
( )
( )
2 1
2
2 1
2
n n
n k
k n k n
k n
b

|
=

|
~
Finally, as n
eff
is equal to |/k, therefore,
2 1
2 eff
n n
n n
b

~
Dependence of b on V
The dimensionless parameter b which varies between 0 and 1 is
particularly useful in theory of SMFs because A is very small
giving only a small range for |.
Moreover, it allows a simple graphical
representation of results to be
presented by the characteristic curve of
normalized phase constant of | as a
function of normalized frequency V in
a SI fiber.
Note that b(V) is a universal function,
which does not depend explicitly on
other fiber parameters.
Normalized propagation constant (b) of
the fundamental mode in a SI fiber as a
function of normalized frequency (V)
Group delay and Mode delay factor
The transit time or group delay t
g
for a light pulse propagating along a unit
length of fiber is the inverse of the group velocity v
g
.
dk
d
c
1
d
d
v
1
g
g
|
=
e
|
= = t
The group index of uniform plane wave propagating
in a homogeneous medium has been determined as;
g
g
v
c
N =
For SMFs, it is usual to define an effective group index N
ge
by:
where V
g
considered to be group velocity of fundamental fiber mode
g
ge
v
c
N =
Hence, specific group delay for the
fundamental fiber mode becomes;
c
N
ge
g
= t
Moreover, the effective group index may be written in terms of the effective
refractive index n
eff
as

=
d
dn
n N
eff
eff ge Same form of relation as for
planar guide
Mode delay factor & V
| can be expressed in terms of A and b by approx. expression
( ) | | | | A + ~ + = b 1 kn n b n n k
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
1
|
Further approximating, A~ (n
1
-n
2
)/n
2
for weakly guiding fiber where A<<1,
we can use
2 g
2 g 1 g
2
2 1
N
N N
n
n n

~

~ A
N
g1
and N
g2
are group indices for fiber core
and cladding.
Substituting for | and using approx. expression for A, we obtain group delay
per unit distance as
(

+ = =
dV
) Vb ( d
) N N ( N
c
1
dk
d
c
1
2 g 1 g 2 g g
|
t
Since, dispersive properties of fiber core and cladding are almost
same, therefore the wavelength dependence of A can be ignored
Variation of Mode delay factor with V
Hence, the group delay is
(

A + = t
dV
) Vb ( d
n N
c
1
2 2 g g
The Ist term gives the dependence of group delay on wavelength caused when uniform
plane wave is propagating in an infinitely extended medium with a refractive index
which is equivalent to that of the fiber cladding.
The 2
nd
term results from the waveguiding
properties of fiber only and is determined by the
mode delay factor d(Vb)/dV, which describes the
change in group delay caused by the changes in
power distribution between fiber core and
cladding.
Mode delay factor for fundamental
mode in SI fiber as a function of V
Mode delay factor is another universal
parameter which plays a major part in
the theory of SMFs.