Confinement losses in highly birefringent rectangular-lattice photonic-crystal fibers (RLPCFs) are investigated by the multipole method. The losses are strongly polarization dependent, which is due to the anisotropic properties of the cladding. The feature is applied to construct a new kind of single-polarization single-mode photonic-crystal fibers (PCFs), which is based on large differential loss between the two polarizations of the fundamental mode. Furthermore, it is found that the birefringence of RLPCFs is determined mainly by the air holes near the defect core. Consequently, a sandwiching (between triangular structures) rectangular configuration that has the property of reducing leakage loss while simultaneously retaining the birefringence of RLPCF is proposed.
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