The ability to characterize fibers with near-zero dispersion-length products is of considerable practical interest. We introduce dispersive virtual reference interferometry (DVRI) as a technique for the characterization of short length (<1m) fibers with near-zero disperison-length. DVRI has an accuracy equivalent to standard balanced spectral interferometry (on the order of 10−3 ps and 10−5 ps/nm for the group delay and dispersion-length measurements respectively) but does not require wide spectral bandwidths or multiple spectral scans. Following experimental validation, the DVRI technique is used to characterize a 23.3-cm erbium-doped gain fiber (dispersion-length product <0.002 ps/nm), using a tunable laser with a bandwidth of 145nm. Furthermore, the dispersion in a 28.6-cm commercial dispersion shifted fiber is characterized across the zero-dispersion wavelength and the zero-disperison-wavelength and slope were determined to be 1566.7 nm and 8.57 × 10−5 ps/(nm2∙m) with a precision of ± 0.2 nm and ± 0.06 × 10−5 ps/(nm2∙m), respectively.
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