Abstract

We compare the filtering capabilities of two infrared fibers developed to achieve a high rejection ratio of the higher order modes in order to obtain compact modal filters devoted to stellar interferometry. Two types of double-clad fibers are studied: a fiber with a second thin absorbing cladding and a fiber with a second thick absorbing cladding closer to the fiber core; both are single mode around the CO2 band (10.6μm). We present the single-mode spectral domain and the nulling capabilities of both fibers for different fiber lengths, comparing simulations with experimental results. We show that the filtering capabilities are improved when the absorbing clad is closer to the fiber core, as the propagation distance needed to filter out these modes is shorter. Thus, to obtain high rejection ratios in compact devices, an absorbing cladding close to the core of the fiber is compulsory in order to suppress cladding modes that could eventually recouple into the waveguide. We present an empirical model that allows determining the minimum filter length, considering only one effective leaky mode with low attenuation, which considerably simplifies the theoretical studies.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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