Skip to Main Content
It is known that the coupling of core modes to surface modes in air-core photonic-bandgap fiber (PBF) can give rise to large propagation losses. Using computer simulations, we analyze the relationship between the air-core geometry and the presence or absence of the surface modes in air-core PBFs with a triangular hole pattern. We identify ranges of core radii for which the fiber supports no surface modes over the entire wavelength range of the bandgap, i.e., only core modes are present. In particular, for a hole radius ρ=0.47Λ, where Λ is the hole spacing, the core supports a single mode and no surface modes for core radii between 0.8Λ and 1.1Λ. The absence of surface modes suggests that fibers within this range of configurations should exhibit a very low propagation loss. We also show that the existence of surface modes can be predicted quite simply from a study of the bulk modes alone, which is much simpler and faster than carrying out a full analysis of the defect modes.