Endless single-mode fibers, which remain single mode over their entire range of guidance, are, to the best of our knowledge, the first reported unique application of photonic crystal fibers. These endless single-mode fibers are made by omitting a single air hole in a periodic array of small air holes in a background silica glass. The feasibility of all-glass endless single-mode photonic crystal fibers where the air holes are replaced by a glass with vanishingly small refractive index contrast relative to silica is first studied theoretically and then demonstrated experimentally. This new all-glass design enables not only ease and consistency of fabrication but also the convenience to be handled and spliced like conventional fibers.
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