The unintentional birefringence induced by the irregular structure in photonic crystal fibers is analyzed numerically using the plane wave expansion method. The statistical correlations between the birefringence and the various irregularities are obtained. The birefringence is found to be largely dependent on the fiber design parameters as well as the degree of the irregularity. And the large pitch and the small air hole make the fiber less sensitive to the structural irregularity, which is successfully explained by the simple perturbation theory. The accuracy of our analyses is confirmed by the detailed investigation of computational errors. This study provides the essential information for the characterization and the design of low birefringence photonic crystal fibers.
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