The “photonic lantern,” an optical fibre device that has emerged from the field of astrophotonics, allows for a single-mode photonic function to take place within a multimode fibre. We study and evaluate the modal behaviour of photonic lanterns as well as the conditions for achieving low-loss between a multimode fibre and a “near-diffraction limited” single-mode system. We also present an intuitive analogy of the modal electromagnetic propagation behaviour along the photonic lantern transition in terms of the Kronig-Penney model in Quantum Mechanics.
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