Abstract

Using the power-flow equation, we have examined the state of mode coupling in step-index plastic optical fibers with different numerical apertures. Our results confirm that the coupling rates vary with the coupling coefficient of the fibers as the dominant parameter, especially in the early stage of coupling near the input fiber end. However, we show that the fiber’s numerical aperture has a significant influence on later stages of this process. Consequently, equilibrium mode distribution and steady-state distribution are achieved at overall fiber lengths that depend on both of these factors. As one of our examples demonstrates, it is possible for the coupling length of a high-aperture fiber to be similar to that of a low-aperture fiber despite the three-times-larger coupling coefficient of the former.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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