We investigate the guidance properties of low-contrast photonic band gap fibres. As predicted by the antiresonant reflecting optical waveguide (ARROW) picture, band gaps were observed between wavelengths where modes of the high-index rods in the cladding are cutoff. At these wavelengths, leakage from the core by coupling to higher-order modes of the rods was observed directly. The low index contrast allowed for bend loss to be investigated; unlike in index-guiding fibres, anomalous “centripetal” light leakage through the inside of the bend can occur.
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