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1 February 2014 Multi-element fiber for space-division multiplexing
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A novel approach of using multi-element fiber (MEF) technology in space-division multiplexing (SDM) systems is presented. This paper reviews the progress in fabrication and characterization of MEF based both ultralow crosstalk transmission and amplifier fibers. Passive 3-element MEFs have been successfully demonstrated for application in telecommunications. An active 5-element MEF amplifier has also been demonstrated in a novel multiport cladding-pumped configuration, in which a central un-doped multi-mode pump fiber-element is surrounded by four Er/Yb-doped active fiber-elements. MEF is compatible with current WDM systems, and there is no need to develop specialized multiplexing/demultiplexing components. Moreover, it offers a smooth upgrade to SDM systems.
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J. K. Sahu, S. Jain, V. J. F. Rancaño, T. C. May-Smith, A. Webb, P. Petropoulos, and D. J. Richardson "Multi-element fiber for space-division multiplexing", Proc. SPIE 9009, Next-Generation Optical Communication: Components, Sub-Systems, and Systems III, 90090C (1 February 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2044334;

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