We present a theoretical analysis of the mode coupling effects at a microbend along a graded-index (GI) multimode fiber (MMF). By matching the incident and excited mode fields at the microbend, we obtain the coupling coefficients among the guided modes at different microbending conditions. The theoretical results compare well with the experimental results from near-field measurements on a GI MMF subject to microbending. The usefulness of our theory is demonstrated with two applications: (i) an explanation of the operation principle of a wavelength-switchable fiber laser that contains a fiber Bragg grating in a GI MMF and (ii) quantification of the function of a microbend-based mode scrambler.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
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