A rigorous, much simplified, and accurate analysis of the modal field characteristics such as propagation constants, mode power confinement, delay and dispersion characteristics of a single-mode graded-index elliptical core fiber is presented applying a variational method and super-Gaussian approximation of the fundamental modal field. Normalized propagation constants, a fundamental parameter to evaluate other modal characteristics, obtained through this method showed a greater accuracy over the entire range of practical interest in comparison with other reported methods. The effects of various aspect ratios on these characteristics are analyzed. In addition, the effect of Kerr nonlinearity on these characteristics is investigated using the reported method, and a comparison is made with the linear results.
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