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Large-core Fibers

Acronym: LCF

Definition: optical fibers with relatively large fiber core

More general term: optical fibers

German: Fasern mit großem Kern

Category: fiber optics and waveguides

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A large-core fiber is an optical fiber having a fiber core which is relatively large. It can be a multimode fiber or a single-mode fiber.

Large-core Multimode Fibers

Large-core multimode fibers have a core diameter which is well above the typically used 50 μm or 62.5 μm of telecom fibers – for example, 100 μm or even 400 μm. The core is often not much smaller than the fiber cladding (see Figure 1). The cladding diameter may substantially go beyond the usual 125 μm in order to realize even larger cores. The number of guided fiber modes is then usually very high.

large-core multimode fiber
Figure 1: Design of a large-mode multimode fiber with 105 μm core diameter and 125 μm cladding diameter.

Frequently, such fibers have a pure silica fiber core (rather than e.g. a germanosilicate core) and a fiber cladding with somewhat reduced refractive index, e.g. achieved with fluorine doping. For realizing a high numerical aperture, however, one may still use fibers with germanosilicate core.

Typical applications of large-core multimode fibers are the passive transport of light e.g. in the context of illumination, laser material processing or optical pumping of solid-state lasers.

Large-core Single-mode Fibers

If a large-core fiber is a single-mode fiber, it also has a large effective mode area. Here, the term large mode area fiber is more common and more appropriate, since the large mode area is a particularly important property: it results in reduced nonlinear effects combined with a high beam quality.

standard and large mode area fiber
Figure 2: Comparison of bare (uncoated) fibers with a standard core size (e.g. 8 μm diameter) and a large core (50 μm diameter).

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Suppliers

The RP Photonics Buyer's Guide contains 15 suppliers for large-core fibers. Among them:

See also: fibers, large mode area fibers, effective mode area
and other articles in the category fiber optics and waveguides

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