9 May 2011 Challenges in characterization of photonic crystal fibers
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We present experience with photonic crystal fiber (PCF) characterization during COST Action 299, focusing on phenomena causing errors and ways to mitigate them. PCFs developed at IPHT Jena (Germany) and UMCS Lublin (Poland), designed for single mode operation were coupled to test instruments by fusion splicing to intermediate lengths of telecom single mode fibers (SMF). PCF samples were short (0.5-100 m), with 20-70 dB/km attenuation at 1310 nm and 1550 nm. Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) was best for measuring loss as most PCFs produced strong backscattering, while variable splice losses and difficulties with PCF cleaving for optical power measurements made cutback and insertion loss measurements inaccurate. Experience with PCF handling and cleaving is also reviewed. Quality of splices to fiber under test was critical. Excitation of higher order modes produced strong "noise" during measurements of polarization parameters like PMD or PDL. Multimode propagation and vibration-induced interference precluded testing of fine dependence of PMD on temperature or strain, causing random variations comparable to true changes of PMD. OTDR measurements were not affected, but testing of short fiber sections with very different backscattering intensities puts special demands on instrument performance. Temperature testing of liquid-infiltrated PCF was time-consuming, as settling of parameters after temperature change took up to 40 minutes. PCFs were fragile, breaking below 2% linear expansion, sometimes in unusual way when twisted.
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Krzysztof Borzycki, Krzysztof Borzycki, Jens Kobelke, Jens Kobelke, Pawel Mergo, Pawel Mergo, Kay Schuster, Kay Schuster, } "Challenges in characterization of photonic crystal fibers", Proc. SPIE 8073, Optical Sensors 2011; and Photonic Crystal Fibers V, 80732M (9 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.886964; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.886964

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