A theoretical analysis of incoherent intermode light power diffusion in multimode dielectric waveguides with rough (corrugated) surfaces is presented. The correlation length a of the surface-profile variations is assumed to be sufficiently large to permit light scattering into the outer space only from the modes close to the critical angles of propagation and yet sufficiently small (, where d is the average width of the waveguide) to permit direct interaction between a given mode and a large number of neighboring ones. The cases of a one-dimensional (1D) slab waveguide and a two-dimensional cylindrical waveguide (optical fiber) are analyzed, and we find that in both cases the partial differential equations that govern the evolution of the angular light power profile propagating along the waveguide are 1D and of the diffusion type. However, whereas in the former case the effective conductivity coefficient proves to be linearly dependent on the transverse-mode wave number, in the latter one the linear dependence is for the effective diffusion coefficient. The theoretical predictions are in reasonable agreement with experimental results for the intermode power diffusion in multimode optical fibers with etched surfaces. The characteristic length of dispersion of a narrow angular power profile evaluated from the correlation length and standard deviation of heights of the surface profile proved to be in good agreement with the experimentally observed changes in the output angular power profiles.
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