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Bend loss measurements on high numerical aperture single-mode fibers as a function of wavelength and bend radius

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2 Author(s)
A. Harris ; University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK ; P. Castle

The results of an investigation into the bend loss as a function of wavelength for single-radius bends in monomode fibers are given. The fibers considered have a high numerical aperture and a protective coating which has a refractive index greater than that of the cladding. For these fibers the pure bend loss is shown to be the dominant loss mechanism over the wavelength range 633-1152 nm. In addition, oscillations in the loss are observed as the bend radius is varied at the longer wavelengths. These oscillations are shown to result from the coupling of light under weak coupling conditions from a whispering gallery mode in the cladding formed by the pure bend loss, to the fundamental mode in the core. An expression is derived which relates the bend radius at which the minima in the oscillations occur to the fiber parameters and a qualitative explanation is given for the reduction in the oscillation amplitude as the bend radius and wavelength are decreased. A criterion is identified for assessing the strength of the coupling between the whispering gallery mode and fundamental mode. Using this criterion the attenuation coefficient of the pure bend loss at which a transition from weak to strong coupling occurs is determined and is found to agree with observations. The effect of the coupling strength between the whispering gallery mode and the fundamental mode on the characteristics of the pure bend loss is discussed. Finally, possible applications arising from the results of this work are identified.

Published in:

Journal of Lightwave Technology  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 1 )