We show through computer simulations that the thin silica ring that surrounds the air core of a photonic-bandgap fiber introduces surface modes. The intensity profile and dispersion of these modes indicate that they are the modes of the waveguide formed by the ring surrounded by air on one side and the photonic crystal cladding on the other. The ring also induces small perturbations of the fundamental core mode. Coupling to those surface modes, which have propagation constants close to that of the core mode, are likely to induce substantial loss to the core mode. By reducing the thickness of the ring and/or by suitably selecting its radius the propagation constants of the surface modes can be moved farther from that of the core mode and the loss reduced.
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