Supercontinuum generation using picosecond pulses pumped into cobweb photonic crystal fibers is investigated. Dispersion profiles are calculated for several fiber designs and used to analytically investigate the influence of the fiber structural parameters (core size and wall thickness) on the location of the Stokes and anti-Stokes bands and gain bandwidth. An analysis shows that the Raman effect is responsible for reducing the four-wave mixing gain and a slight reduction in the corresponding frequency shift from the pump, when the frequency shift is much larger than the Raman shift. Using numerical simulations we find that four-wave mixing is the dominant physical mechanism for the pumping scheme considered, and that there is a trade-off between the spectral width and the spectral flatness of the supercontinuum. The balance of this trade-off is determined by nanometer-scale design of the fiber structural parameters. It is also shown that the relatively high loss of the nonlinear fiber does not significantly affect the supercontinuum generation.
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