Abstract

The “photonic lantern,” an optical fibre device that has emerged from the field of astrophotonics, allows for a single-mode photonic function to take place within a multimode fibre. We study and evaluate the modal behaviour of photonic lanterns as well as the conditions for achieving low-loss between a multimode fibre and a “near-diffraction limited” single-mode system. We also present an intuitive analogy of the modal electromagnetic propagation behaviour along the photonic lantern transition in terms of the Kronig-Penney model in Quantum Mechanics.

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References

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  1. A. J. Horton and J. Bland-Hawthorn, “Coupling light into few-mode optical fibres I: The diffraction limit,” Opt. Express 15(4), 1443–1453 (2007).
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  8. A system of m single-mode cores will in fact support 2m vector modes, corresponding to m modes each for two orthogonal polarisations. Similarly, a system of m quantum wells will support 2m electron sates, corresponding to m states each for two values of the electron spin. This additional complexity does not change the analogy in any way, thus it is omitted from the text to simplify the analogy.
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  10. http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/cudos/mofsoftware/ .
  11. N. A. Issa and L. Poladian, “Vector wave expansion method for leaky modes of microstructured optical fibers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 21(4), 1005–1012 (2003).
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  12. http://code.google.com/p/polymode/ .
  13. W. Snyder and J. D. Love, Optical Waveguide Theory (Chapman & Hall, 1983).
  14. R. J. Black, J. Lapierre, and J. Bures, “Field evolution in doubly clad lightguides,” IEE Proc.-J: Optoelectron. 134, 105 (1987).
    [CrossRef]
  15. Although the lowest order core mode would ordinarily not go below the cladding index (1.444 here), it does in this case due to the finite cladding, and the presence of the lower index outer cladding.

2009

2007

2005

2003

2002

1990

F. Ladouceur and J. Love, “Multiport single-mode fibre splitters,” Opt. Quantum Electron. 22(5), 453–465 (1990).
[CrossRef]

1987

R. J. Black, J. Lapierre, and J. Bures, “Field evolution in doubly clad lightguides,” IEE Proc.-J: Optoelectron. 134, 105 (1987).
[CrossRef]

Birks, T. A.

Black, R. J.

R. J. Black, J. Lapierre, and J. Bures, “Field evolution in doubly clad lightguides,” IEE Proc.-J: Optoelectron. 134, 105 (1987).
[CrossRef]

Bland-Hawthorn, J.

Botten, L. C.

Bures, J.

R. J. Black, J. Lapierre, and J. Bures, “Field evolution in doubly clad lightguides,” IEE Proc.-J: Optoelectron. 134, 105 (1987).
[CrossRef]

Corbett, J. C.

de Sterke, C. M.

Englund, M.

George, A. K.

Horton, A. J.

Issa, N. A.

Joly, N. Y.

Kakarantzas, G.

Kern, P.

Kuhlmey, B. T.

Ladouceur, F.

F. Ladouceur and J. Love, “Multiport single-mode fibre splitters,” Opt. Quantum Electron. 22(5), 453–465 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Lapierre, J.

R. J. Black, J. Lapierre, and J. Bures, “Field evolution in doubly clad lightguides,” IEE Proc.-J: Optoelectron. 134, 105 (1987).
[CrossRef]

Leon-Saval, S. G.

Love, J.

F. Ladouceur and J. Love, “Multiport single-mode fibre splitters,” Opt. Quantum Electron. 22(5), 453–465 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Maystre, D.

McPhedran, R. C.

Nielsen, M. D.

Noordegraaf, D.

Poladian, L.

Renversez, G.

Russell, P. St. J.

Skovgaard, P. M. W.

Wadsworth, W. J.

White, T. P.

IEE Proc.-J: Optoelectron.

R. J. Black, J. Lapierre, and J. Bures, “Field evolution in doubly clad lightguides,” IEE Proc.-J: Optoelectron. 134, 105 (1987).
[CrossRef]

J. Lightwave Technol.

J. Opt. Soc. Am. B

Opt. Express

Opt. Lett.

Opt. Quantum Electron.

F. Ladouceur and J. Love, “Multiport single-mode fibre splitters,” Opt. Quantum Electron. 22(5), 453–465 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Other

A system of m single-mode cores will in fact support 2m vector modes, corresponding to m modes each for two orthogonal polarisations. Similarly, a system of m quantum wells will support 2m electron sates, corresponding to m states each for two values of the electron spin. This additional complexity does not change the analogy in any way, thus it is omitted from the text to simplify the analogy.

http://code.google.com/p/polymode/ .

W. Snyder and J. D. Love, Optical Waveguide Theory (Chapman & Hall, 1983).

Although the lowest order core mode would ordinarily not go below the cladding index (1.444 here), it does in this case due to the finite cladding, and the presence of the lower index outer cladding.

http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/cudos/mofsoftware/ .

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Schematic representation of the three different approaches for the fabrication of Photonic lanterns; a) PCF technique; b) Standard single-mode fibre combiner/splitter technique; and c) Multicore fibre approach.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

A schematic evolution of supermodes throughout the tapered transition of the photonic lantern with two single-mode cores. (Left) Inverse of the refractive index profile (1/n) vs. radius compared to the analogous QM 1D Kronig-Penney quantum well structure. For the vertical axis a comparison is made between transverse wavevectors (KT) of photons and energy of the electron (E) at different positions along the tapered transition. The sketched modes’ height with respect to the vertical axis represents the change in KT and E for the EM wave case and for the QM case respectively. (Top right) Details of refractive indices within the structure of the photonic lantern. (Bottom right) Vectorial decomposition of the Kn wavevector.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

The evolution of modes throughout the tapered transition of the photonic lantern. The 14 core modes are degenerate at large diameters, but become non-degenerate at smaller diameters and fill the range of neff available in the multimode core at the end of the transition. The red horizontal dashed lines indicate the core and cladding index of the final multimode core (nco = 1.444; ncl = 1.4431), and the vertical dashed line indicates the 110 μm diameter at which the transition was terminated in [4]; more details of the modes at this point are given in Table 1. The inset shows the mode evolution over the entire transition.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Splitting of the 14 originally degenerate core modes into five non-degenerate scalar supermodes as the seven cores are brought closer together (but not reduced in size). The cores have the following properties: nco = 1.45397; ncl = 1.444; d = 6.5 μm. With decreasing core separation the neff of these supermodes approach those of the five modes supported by a single large multimode core with an area equal to the total area of the seven cores (i.e. with rco = 8.6 μm). The beat length for modal beating between the lowest and highest order modes is also indicated. A particular near field pattern will remain preserved over lengths that are short compared to this beat length.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

The evolution of modes throughout the end of the tapered transition of the photonic lantern for different core separation. The cores have the following properties: nco = 1.45397; ncl = 1.444; d = 6.5 μm; core separation of (Left) 60 μm; (centre) 40 μm; and (right) 20 μm.

Tables (1)

Tables Icon

Table 1 Details of modes supported by the photonic lantern modeled in Fig. 3 at an OD of 110 μm.

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