Abstract

The beam quality factor M2 for the fundamental LP01 mode of a step-index fiber with a finite cladding diameter is calculated in the presence of gain, in a closed form, as a function of the complex generalized V number. It is shown that the conventional infinite cladding diameter approximation cannot be used for index-antiguided gain-guided fibers, and the rigorous analysis presented in this paper is required for accurate prediction of the beam quality factor, as reported in recent experimental measurements.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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