Achieving very large mode area is a key goal in current research on microstructure and solid fibers for high power amplifiers and lasers. One particular design regime of recent interest has effective area over 1000 square microns and has effectively-single-mode operation ensured by bend losses of the higher-order modes. Simulations show that these fibers are extremely prone to bend-induced distortion and reduction in mode area. The calculated area reduction would significantly impact nonlinear impairments for bend radii relevant to any reasonable spooled package, and can be over 50 percent for bend radii tighter than 10cm. The parabolic-profile design has a natural immunity to bend-induced mode distortion and contraction, and shows superior performance in simulated fair comparisons with other fiber families, including microstructure fibers.
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