RP Photonics logo
RP Photonics
Encyclopedia
Consulting Software Encyclopedia Buyer's Guide

Short address: rpp-con.com

Dr. Paschotta, the founder of RP Photonics, supports your R & D with his deep expertise. Save time and money with efficient support!

Short address: rpp-soft.com

Powerful simulation software for fiber lasers and amplifiers, resonator design, pulse propagation and multilayer coating design.

Short address: rpp-enc.com

The famous Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology provides a wealth of high-quality scientific and technical information.

Short address: rpp-bg.com

In the RP Photonics Buyer's Guide, you easily find suppliers for photo­nics products. As a supp­lier, you can profit from enhanced entries!

Learn on lasers and photonics every day!
VL logo part of the
Virtual
Library

Cut-off Wavelength

<<<  |  >>>  |  Feedback

Buyer's Guide

Use the RP Photonics Buyer's Guide to find suppliers for photonics products! You will hardly find a more convenient resource.

Cut-off wavelengths and other properties of guided modes can be calculated with our free fiber optics software RP Fiber Calculator.

Definition: a wavelength above which a guided mode of a waveguide ceases to exist

German: Grenzwellenlänge

Category: fiber optics and waveguides

How to cite the article

The number of guided modes of a waveguide (for example, an optical fiber) depends on the optical wavelength: the shorter the wavelength, the more modes can be guided. For long wavelengths, there may be only a single guided mode (→ single-mode fibers) or even none at all, whereas multimode behavior is obtained at shorter wavelengths.

When a particular mode ceases to exist beyond a certain wavelength, that wavelength is called its cut-off wavelength. For an optical fiber, the cut-off wavelength for the LP11 mode sets a limit to the single-mode regime, as below that wavelength there is at least the LP01 and the LP11 mode.

Just below the cut-off wavelength, the mode properties often vary substantially. Typically, the mode radius (and thus the effective mode area) increases sharply near the cut-off, and the fraction of power propagating within the waveguide core decreases accordingly. That effect is shown in Figure 1 for a multimode step-index fiber; similar behavior occurs for fibers with other transverse refractive index profiles.

fraction of power in fiber core

Figure 1: Fraction of the power which is contained in the fiber core as a function of the wavelength. The thin vertical lines indicate the calculated cut-off wavelengths. The diagram has been produced with the software RP Fiber Power.

For LPlm modes of a fiber, only for l = 0 the fraction of the power guided in the core goes to zero when approaching the cut-off. For modes with higher l, the mode size stays finite there.

In step-index fibers, there is no cut-off for the fundamental (LP10) mode. For other fiber designs, in particular for some photonic crystal fibers, there can also be a fundamental cut-off.

Fibers with not radially symmetric designs (and strongly bent fibers) can have polarization-dependent cut-off wavelengths.

See also: waveguides, fibers, modes, LP modes

How do you rate this article?

Your general impression: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Technical quality: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Usefulness: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Readability: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Comments:

Found any errors? Suggestions for improvements? Do you know a better web page on this topic?

Spam protection: (enter the value of 5 + 8 in this field!)

If you want a response, you may leave your e-mail address in the comments field, or directly send an e-mail.

If you like our website, you may also want to get our newsletters!

cover of print encyclopedia

The Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology is also available in the form of a two-volume book. Maybe you would enjoy reading it also in that form! The print version has a carefully designed layout and can be considered a must-have for any institute library, laser research group, or laser company. You may order the print version via Wiley-VCH.

arrow

Numerical Modeling

Developing devices or systems in photonics requires a comprehensive quantitative understanding – otherwise, it becomes inefficient, waisting time and money.

Numerical modeling is often the most efficient way towards results:

laser modeling

How to Get Your Modeling Done?

You can either do it yourself, using our powerful simulation software, or use competent technical consultancy.

Note: software from RP Photonics comes with competent technical support – consultancy is included!

– Show all banners –

– Get your own banner! –