Abstract

We have numerically investigated the behavior of the fundamental mode of a step-index, multimode (MM) fiber as the optical power approaches the self-focusing limit (Pcrit). The analysis includes the effects of gain and bending (applicable to coiled fiber amplifiers). We find power-dependent, stationary solutions that propagate essentially without change at beam powers approaching Pcrit in straight and bent fibers. We show that in a MM fiber amplifier seeded with its fundamental eigenmode at powers ≪Pcrit, the transverse spatial profile adiabatically evolves through a continuum of stationary solutions as the beam is amplified toward Pcrit.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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