Approximate empirical relations for nonlinear photonic crystal fibers (PCFs) are newly proposed. Replacing a PCF with a conventional step-index fiber, closed form expressions for the effective refractive index and the effective core area of nonlinear PCFs are derived. To define the equivalent cladding index, the effective index of the so-called fundamental space-filling mode, which is calculated using empirical relations for the effective normalized frequency, is introduced, and thus, nonlinear guided waves propagating in PCFs can be easily characterized without the need for numerical computations. The validity of the method proposed here is ensured by comparing the calculated results with those obtained by a full-vector finite-element method.
©2006 Optical Society of America
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