A thin overlay of higher refractive index than that of the cladding of a long-period fiber grating induces in cladding modes strong variations in effective index, mode profile, cross-coupling coefficient with the core mode, and self-coupling coefficient. Some conditions must be met in order to obtain the highest inducement. The key parameters are the thickness and the refractive index of the overlay, and the ambient refractive index. Under optimum conditions, the sensitivity of the device to variations in any of the critical parameters is improved in a great manner. The result is large shifts of the attenuation bands in the transmission spectrum. If the refractive index of the overlay is complex, there is an additional phenomenon of vanishing of the attenuation bands in the transmission spectrum. This occurs for specific thickness values of the overlay. The problem is solved in two steps: a vectorial analysis of the modes and the application of coupled-mode theory.
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