Abstract

A detailed analysis of four-wave mixing (FWM) and its required phase-matching conditions in graded-index multimode optical fibers is presented. The analysis is relevant mainly for spontaneous frequency conversion and photon pair generation via FWM, when the fiber length is of the order of a meter or shorter, and the signal and idler are generated at large frequency separations from the pump. An analytic expression for calculating the phase mismatch occurring as a result of the waveguide dispersion among the pump, signal, and idler beams is derived, and it agrees well with independent numerical analysis. This expression simplifies calculations considerably, as it allows the prediction of the wavelengths of the signal and idler by using only the mode group number of the spatial modes involved in the FWM process and the refractive index profile of the fiber. The scaling of the signal–pump–idler frequency separations with the mode group numbers is explored. The abundance of the configuration degeneracies of the FWM process in graded-index multimode fibers indicates that nearly identical signal and idler frequencies can be obtained for many different pump, signal, and idler spatial mode profile combinations.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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