Principal modes in multimode fibers: Exploring the crossover from weak to strong mode coupling

Wen Xiong, Philipp Ambichl, Yaron Bromberg, Brandon Redding, Stefan Rotter, Hui Cao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present experimental and numerical studies on principal modes in a multimode fiber with mode coupling. By applying external stress to the fiber and gradually adjusting the stress, we have realized a transition from weak to strong mode coupling, which corresponds to the transition from single scattering to multiple scattering in mode space. Our experiments show that principal modes have distinct spatial and spectral characteristic in the weak and strong mode coupling regimes. We also investigate the bandwidth of the principal modes, in particular, the dependence of the bandwidth on the delay time, and the effects of the mode-dependent loss. By analyzing the path-length distributions, we discover two distinct mechanisms that are responsible for the bandwidth of principal modes in weak and strong mode coupling regimes. Their interplay leads to a non-monotonic transition of the average principal mode bandwidth from weak to strong mode coupling. Taking into account the mode-dependent loss in the fiber, our numerical results are in qualitative agreement with our experimental observations. Our study paves the way for exploring potential applications of principal modes in communication, imaging and spectroscopy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2709-2724
Number of pages16
JournalOptics Express
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 6 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Optical Society of America.

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