Abstract

A semianalytical method based on the perturbation theory is developed to calculate the bending losses of individual modes of few-mode fibers (FMFs); it is applicable for optical fibers with arbitrary circularly symmetric index profile, especially for trench-assisted fibers. The bending performance of trench-assisted step-index FMFs and parabolic-index FMFs are investigated with three key parameters (i.e., the refractive index difference of trench-cladding, the width of the trench, and the distance of the core-trench). Then, a performance index is defined to estimate the bending performance for FMFs. It is shown that changing the distance of the trench-core, for each order of mode, there is a minimum bending loss, which can be used for fiber optimization. This optimization position (core-trench distance) decreases as the mode order increases. It is found that the bending performance of parabolic-index FMFs is better than that of step-index FMFs with fixed core radius and cutoff wavelength. The conclusions are helpful for understanding the mechanism of bending loss for FMFs, and make contributions to designing and manufacturing of few-mode bend-insensitive fibers.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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