Photonic Crystal Fiber

Aziz Mahfoud Introduction
In the last decade, a great deal of work has been focused in photonic crystals due mainly to their optical properties. An interesting characteristic display by such structure is the selectivity of the electromagnetic field that can propagated along them, in other words the propagation of certain frequency is prohibited. Recently applications have been devise in the fields of optical communication, high resolution spectral filters, photonic crystals film (counterfeit for credit cards), photonic crystal lasers. A new type of waveguide has assure to perform in very way that traditional core-cladding fiber. Photonic crystal fibers (hollow fiber, see figure 1) promise to become the next generation of ultra-low loss transmission fiber, their also have applications in power deliveries , sensors and nonlinear optics. In commercial available holey fibers more than 95 percent of the light travels in the hollow core or in the holes of the cladding. Due to the air-holes Fresnel reflection at the end of the endfaces estimated less than 10-4 . Since up to 85 % of the fiber cross section is composed of fused silica, fusion splicing become easier than conventional fibers, and also good temperature stability of optical properties, along with low bending losses. More recently scientists from blaze photonics have reported transmission losses of about .58 dB/km (0.18 background Rayleigh scattering, 0.13 dB/km hydroxyl absorption, 0.27 dB/km excess loss associated with the geometry of the fiber.) for a solid core fiber at 1.55 um which approach 0.2 dB/km the standard single mode optical fiber. In the same context Corning, have reduced the losses in air-core photonic crystal fiber (PCF) from 1000 dB/km to 13 dB/km.

3 um. For instance the geometry of the center defect can be modified by the introduction of the thicker of thinner tubes at different position around the defect. Defects are created by replacing tubes for solid rods (as in the case of highly nonlinear PCF or by removing a group of tubes from the preform (hollow core photonic PCF).3 um.Figure 1. The furnace is filled with argon and reach temperature about 2000 oC as consequence the glass rods and tubes get soften. Distance between cladding hole enters 2. Fabrication Photonic crystal fibers are made by stacking tubes and rods of silica glass into a large structure (perform) of the pattern of holes required in the final fiber. In other words by increasing the furnace temperature the air hole size can be reduced. Diameter of the holey region about 40 um. diameter of the silica cladding about 135 um.05 mm diameter (see figure 2). with a core diameter of 9. The perform is then bound with tantalum wire and then is taken to a furnace of fiber drawing tower . . Hollow core photonic bandgap fiber. with coating (acrylate) diameter of 220 um. Later. Since the fabrication process is quite robust complicated geometries can be achieved. the hole process is repeated and spaces between the holes of 25 millionth of meter can be obtained. the preform is fused together and reduced to 1mm size with hole around 0. After reducing the preform to a size that is 20 times smaller the structure thus formed (cane).

Typical fabrication process in a photonic crystal fiber. basically we can think in two possible guiding mechanism. The right hand side figure shows the first photonic crystal fiber Guiding process It is important to describe the mechanism or mechanisms through what the light is guided in a photonic crystal fiber.The preform then fused together reducing its original size with a typical ratio of about 20. In this case a total internal refraction kind of process occurs. is not a accurate description of ..Figure 2.. First. Since a PCF is a structure that usually is formed by a center core surrounding by a periodic structure (cladding). We know that a ray optics picture. we can consider the case in which the center core has a effective index of refraction than the cladding. The tub and rods are gather together and a furnace is used to heat the preform to 2000 oC.

The reality is that the fundamental mode is confined to the core due to the higher index of refraction. in a PCF the guidance process is achieved by coherent backscattering of the light into the core. this types of fiber are know “endlessly single mode fiber”. it is impossible to obtained a material with lower index of refraction than air as cladding) . and it is enable to leak away since the corresponding electromagnetic field are not a mode (solution of Maxwell’s equation for this geometry). Light incident upon the core-cladding interface is strongly scattered by the air-holes. higher order modes can be leak away of the core (a higher field distribution in the cladding compare with the fundamental mode). An important characteristic of PCF if that for small enough holes (air) the fiber remains single mode at all wavelength. In the other hand. PBG exhibit the characteristic that only certain wavelength can be transmitted. That guidance process enable to fabricate fiber with hollow cores (filled with air) something that it is impossible with conventional fiber (in a conventional fiber if the core is hollow. The other guidance mechanism is a novel one and it is based in a concept that has attracted the attention of many researchers worldwide. So.the electromagnetic propagation of a wave. Photonic band gap (PGB) theory has opened a numerous application including PCF. and a wave formalism is necessary for a better understanding. For particular wavelengths the scattering process results in constructive interference of the reflected rays in the core.

. This is quite remarkable since usually regular fiber become multimode a shorter wavelength. and is this property that is exploited for controlling the electromagnetic radiation. More general.6. In essence the band calculations show the functionality between wave vector and frequency. Fig. I found very important to provide a introduction of PBG and the ways of it can control the propagation of the radiation of electromagnetic waves. It is interesting to see.3 calculated photonic band structures of a hexagonal lattice of dielectric cylinders in air Epolarization (solid lines) and H-polarization (dashed lines). we can think that there are certain frequencies that can not propagate in the plane of the periodic structure. Another important characteristic that distinguish photonic crystal fiber from regular fiber is the fact that the fiber can make to support one mode for all wavelength. that also photonic crystal fiber are not bound for the size limitation that must be imposed in a regular fiber in order to obtained single mod operation. The cylinders have a refractive index of 3. that allow PCFs suitable for high power application Figure 3 shows a typical 2-D band structure calculation. In a photonic bandgap structure there are certain frequency that can not propagate along the direction of the periodic structure. The relationship between frequency and wave vector is usually very complex and numerical techniques are necessary (the plane wave method is a well employ technique to calculate band structure). and thus it constitute the principle behind the guidance process in the fiber. That properties is what is exploited in a photonic crystal fiber.Optical properties of 2-D photonic crystals Since PCF are based on the physics of PBG.

8 dB/km for λ = 1550 nm • Undoped fused silica core and cladding • Near-Gaussian mode profile • Delivery of broadband radiation in a single spatial mode • Short wavelength applications • Sensors and interferometers . This type of fiber remains single mode in a wide range of wavelength. no matter the size of the core or the wavelength. These types of fiber are called endlessly single mode crystal fiber. Solid core crystal fiber.Applications Large mode area fiber We already have mentioned in our introduction. Figure 4. Also since the fiber is made of only silica the fiber has potential application in sensors and interferometers.This properties are very interesting and can have various application. and are fabricated usually with a solid core surrounding by air holes . Properties • Single-mode at all wavelengths • Attenuation as low as < 0. including high power single mode-fiber lasers and amplifiers. that certain geometries will support only one mode.. Losses associated with this type of fiber are usually less than 1 dB/km. Since PCFs deliver more power compare with conventional fiber. they can lengthen the repeater spacing in telecommunication links.

surrounded by a microstructured cladding formed by a periodic arrangement of air holes in silica. Hollow fiber. Since up to 85 % of the fiber cross section is made of silica. Since only a small fraction of the light propagates in glass. As a general rule.3 um. Photonic crystal fiber can be employed as dispersion compensation in orde to eliminate or reduce the dispersion. which facilitate the fiber splicing. more of the fiber installed were design to operate at 1. These fibers also have very low bending losses. and very low Fresnel reflection. the effect of material nonlinearities is significantly reduced and the fibers do not suffer from the same limitations on loss as conventional fibers made from solid material alone. For instance. Figure 5. the bigger the dispersion .Hollow Core Fiber Photonic Bandgap Fibers guide light in a hollow core.55 um and this fiber has considerable dispersion at this wavelength. This type of fiber has lower loss compare with solid core fiber and is more likely to become e the replacement for conventional long haul optical fiber Dispersion compensation A very interesting application of photonic crystal fiber is as dispersion tailoring devices. but know transmission is preffered at 1.

and this usually done by increasing the air-holes diameter. the smaller the PCF length. that means that a photonic crystal fiber can compensate 100 times its length (you only need 1cm of PCF for each meter of regular fiber). is the fact that the range at which the compensation is made in a PCF (zero dispersion) is broad compare with the other methods.55 um. This is especially important for WDM.55 um. What distinguish PCF as dispersion compensation technique compare with other method. A typical number for the PCF dispersion. where compensation must be done in a broad range. the dispersion slope an be tuned while maintaining a fixed zero dispersion. . Figure 6. This fiber was designed to have zero dispersion at 1. is around 2000 ps-nm-1-Km-1. Insert shows the balance between material and waveguide dispersion for a fiber with zero dispersion slope at 1. The figure embedded illustrates the balances between waveguide and material dispersion in a PCF. to increase the dispersion the index contrast must be increased. The range at which compensation can be made is fundamental limited by the index contrast of the fiber.compensation. Figure 6 shows the dispersion dependences on the air-hole size. So.

PCF’s find application in sensors gyroscopes and interferometers. See figure 7. As result phases differences are created resulting in elliptically polarized light. Plane polarized light propagating along the fiber will be resolved into components along in theses axes and as they propagate at different speeds. One advantage of PCF is that they remains single mode and thus can transmit polarized light in a broad range of frequencies. This anisotropy has a important effect in the transmission characteristics of the fiber. PCF presents. Also PCF has shorter beat length than common PMF which reduces bend-induced coupling between polarization states and improve the extinction rate. this phases mechanism cause delays in the optical signal. Birefringence can also be induce by bending and thermal effect. PMD becomes important at high transmission rate. The net effect is the generation of different optical axes. Polarization maintaining PCF is emerging as a new competitor for traditional polarization maintaining fiber.Polarization maintaining PCF Birefringence in a optical fiber arises as a consequence of stresses generated in the fiber during the fabrication process . Finally. Polarization maintaining PCF. Figure 7. . more stable temperature coefficient of birefringence. and this is know as polarization mode dispersion.

The incident field not restrain to the core Figure 8. at 1.55 um. Shows the beam propagation method for a solid core. Notice that the radius of the incident beam is larger than the core of the fiber. Beam was propagated 100 um. .

Shows the beam propagation method for a hollow core. at 1.The incident field not restrain to the core Figure 9. Notice that the radius of the incident beam is larger than the core of the fiber.55 um. Beam was propagated 100 um .

BPM profiles with wavelength dependence Incident file (constraint to the core) BPM results a 0. Notice that the radius of the incident beam is larger than the core of the fiber. at 0.85 nm Figure 10. Beam was propagated 100 um .85 um. Shows the beam propagation method for a hollow core.

BPM Result a 1.3 um.3 nm Result a 1. at 1. Shows the beam propagation method for a hollow core.55 um and 1.55 nm Figure 11. .

Shows the beam propagation method for a hollow core.55 um at two different number of ring Incident file (constraint to the core) Figure 12. at 1.55 for two different number of rings .BPM profiles with at 1.

which can be advantageous for certain application in which is difficult to assure that the beam is launched only in the core. I study two structure. when the incident beam is not launched into the core but spread through the structure. 6. if the power .55.BPM Simulation and Summary In the BPM simulation I am presenting basic result of a propagation of a Gaussian beam through a Photonic Crystal Fiber.216740e01. Second.783340.The first part of the simulation will tend to study the propagation of the beam in the structure.394 um and with a lattice pitch Λ =2. that illustrated the complexity of analyze PCF by standard waveguide concepts.779873e-01 and the coupling efficiency is 0.3 and 0.067363e-01 and the coupling efficiency 9. we end up with a coupling efficiency of 6. one with hole fiber and the other with a solid core (with a radius of 3. 6. The structure is formed with a cladding compound of air cylinders with radius of 1.106 um).875.809596e-01.05419e-01.85 um (see figure 11) with field concentrated in the core of the fiber. Actually I was expecting to find better coupling and better confinement for the solid core fiber (since has a higher effective index in the core of the fiber). By launching light at 1. In the case of the hollow fiber the amount of power within the core is 8.250303e-01. 1. Notice that the coupling efficiency is higher. we want to study what happens when different wavelength are launched into the structure. As figure 8 and 9 suggest the light launched in either structure tend to be localized in the core of the fiber after propagation. The amount of power that remains in the core for the solid core fiber is around 4. It is important to remember that light can not be couple into a slab waveguide if the radiation is launched into the cladding.

instead when is confined in the core that have to propagate some distance before seeing any periodic variation in index of refraction (the size of the core is bigger than the size of the field). since there are some cylinder missing in certain positions. the field is seeing the periodic structure at the very beginning of the simulation. That is hard to understand. But the answer can be related with the fact that in the bigger structure there are some defects. since the bigger the structure the better the response of the fiber. The coupling coefficient for the larger structure is 6.216740 e-01 and for the smaller is 6. it looks like that increasing the number of rings it does not affect to much the coupling efficiency but defect can have bigger impact on the overall coupling efficiency .434557e-01. The reason for that behavior is not clear but I simply think that by launching the power not confined to the core. the coupling efficiency is bigger for the structure with fewer rings (see figure 12).is launched in such a way that is not confined to the core. . But there is a important observation we can do. There is another unexpected result. Those defects can generate phases associated with them and this can have a important effect on the coupling coefficient.

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