Abstract

The dependence of the performance of fused-taper multimode fiber couplers on the refractive index of the material surrounding the taper region has been investigated both theoretically and experimentally. It has been identified that for a 2 × 2 multimode fiber coupler there is a range of output-power-coupling ratios for which the effect of the external refractive index is negligible. When the coupler is tapered beyond this region, the performance becomes dependent on the external index of refraction and lossy. To analyze the multimode coupler-loss mechanism, we develop a two-dimensional ray-optics model that incorporates trapped cladding-mode loss and core-mode loss through frustrated total internal reflection.

Computer-simulation results support the experimental observations. Related issues such as coupler fabrication and packaging are also discussed.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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