Random nonuniformities in the photonic crystal lattice are shown to reduce the coupling length and the coupling efficiency of two-core photonic crystal fibers. These coupling properties are extremely sensitive to imperfections when the air holes are large; variations in the lattice of less than 1% are sufficient to cause essentially independent core propagation due to a drastic reduction in the efficiency of the core coupling. The observed sensitivity of two-core fibers to lattice imperfections is explained through a comparison with coupled mode theory.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
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