Abstract

We present a comparative study of the bandwidth and the sensitivity of the resonance wavelength of long-period gratings (LPGs) to external perturbation fabricated in single-mode fibers (SMFs) and few-mode fibers (FMFs), and their dependencies on the group indices and the dispersion properties of the phase-matched modes. Unlike SMFs, a relatively large core size of FMFs invariably leads to nonuniform index modulation across the fiber cross section under UV exposure, enabling the coupling between modes having dissimilar azimuthal symmetry. Simple analytical formulas for the group/effective index difference, dispersion difference, bandwidth, and wavelength sensitivities are derived for the case of SMFs where light is coupled from the fundamental core mode to the symmetrical cladding modes. Our results show that a two-mode fiber operating at a V-number close to 3 is capable of producing LPGs with broader bandwidth and higher sensitivity as compared with their SMF counterparts, except for a few special cases. Our analyses provide insights into the characteristics of LPGs and facilitate their designs for specific applications.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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