Abstract

We reveal that the overall evanescent wave (EW) power captured by an unclad multimode fiber employed in a sensing configuration is determined by the tunneling modes, not the guided modes. While enormous in strength, most of this power is inaccessible using traditional EW power enhancers. However, we found that by roughening the fiber end face, this supposedly lost power can be recaptured and thus can boost the detectable power level significantly. Intensive mode mixing events across various mode categories are proposed to interpret the observed phenomenon.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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