Abstract

We study the design of ring core fibers (RCFs) supporting orbital angular momentum (OAM) modes for mode division multiplexing (MDM) transmission systems. We develop target criteria to optimize fiber designs using a particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm under fabrication constraints. Effective index separation Δneff and polarization purity of each OAM mode are known to determine modal crosstalk levels. To reduce the complexity of multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) processing required to compensate for modal crosstalk, we define an objective function based on these quantities. Our design analysis focuses on four different concepts of step-index RCF leading to different modal and structural characteristics. The optimum design for each concept is derived using the PSO algorithm. We investigate the impact of hollow-core and/or higher-order radial modes on Δneff and polarization purity. Design strategies for increasing Δneff and polarization purity are discussed in light of robustness to fabrication errors. We finally discuss the scalability and potential limitations of this design.

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