Super- and anti-principal-modes in multimode waveguides

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

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34 Scopus citations


We introduce special states for light in multimode waveguides featuring strongly enhanced or reduced spectral correlations in the presence of strong mode coupling. Based on the experimentally measured multispectral transmission matrix of a multimode fiber, we generate a set of states that outperform the established "principal modes" in terms of the spectral stability of their output spatial field profiles. Inverting this concept also allows us to create states with a minimal spectral correlation width, whose output profiles are considerably more sensitive to a frequency change than typical input wave fronts. The resulting "superprincipal-modes" and "anti-principal-modes" are made orthogonal to each other even in the presence of mode-dependent loss. By decomposing them in the principal-mode basis, we show that the super-principal-modes are formed via interference of principal modes with close delay times, whereas the anti-principal-modes are a superposition of principal modes with the most-different delay times available in the fiber. Such novel states are expected to have broad applications in fiber communication, imaging, and spectroscopy.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number041053
JournalPhysical Review X
Issue number4
StatePublished - 30 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge Chia Wei Hsu, Joel Carpenter, and Nicolas Fontaine for helpful discussions. This work is supported partly by the U.S. National Science Foundation under Grant No. ECCS-1509361 and by the U.S. Office of Naval Research under MURI Grant No. N00014-13-1-0649. P. A. and S. R. acknowledge support by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) through Projects SFB NextLite (F49-P10) and by the European Commission under Project NHQWAVE (Grant Agreement No. 691209).


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