Abstract

We evaluate the coupling efficiency from free space to few-mode fibers (FMF). A theoretical coupling model is developed based on the imaging properties of free-space modes and the inner products between the free-space modes and the FMF modes. Numerical results for six- and ten-mode free-space-to-FMF coupling are presented. It is found that in order to maximize the total coupling efficiency, the size of the highest-order free-space and fiber modes should be approximately matched, and there is an optimum value for the V number of the FMF. In addition, the axial alignment tolerance for free-space-to-FMF coupling is more stringent than for single-mode cases.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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Corrections

25 April 2019: A correction was made to the Funding section.


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