Abstract

We extensively study the propagation features of higher-order modes in a photonic crystal fiber (PCF). Our analysis is based on a full-vector modal technique specially adapted to accurately describe light propagation in PCF’s. Unlike conventional fibers, PCF’s exhibit a somewhat unusual mechanism for the generation of higher-order modes. Accordingly, PCF’s are characterized by the constancy of the number of modes below a wavelength threshold. An explicit verification of this property is given through a complete analysis of the dispersion relations of higher-order modes in terms of the structural parameters of this kind of fiber. The transverse irradiance distributions for some of these higher-order modes are also presented, showing an excellent agreement with recent experimental measurements. In the same way, the full-vector nature of our approach allows us to analyze the rich polarization structure of the PCF mode spectrum.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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