## Abstract

A simple four-wave-mixing (FWM)-based method for measuring the ratio between the third- and the fourth-order dispersion coefficients $({\beta}_{3}\u2215{\beta}_{4})$ in optical fibers is reported. The FWM interaction involves a low power laser and a low power amplified spontaneous emission noise source. The method is applied in several dispersion-shifted and non-zero-dispersion-shifted fibers with lengths varying from 0.03 to $25\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}\mathrm{km}$, and we have obtained an error of less than 3% in measuring ${\beta}_{3}\u2215{\beta}_{4}$. In highly nonlinear fibers the error has presented a strong dependency with longitudinal variations of the zero-dispersion wavelength $\left({\lambda}_{0}\right)$; an error less than 20% could be obtained in most of the tested fibers. Our method also allows for a fast estimation of the distribution of fluctuations of ${\lambda}_{0}$ along the fiber.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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