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Microbends of Fibers

Definition: microscopic bends of optical fibers

German: Mikrobiegungen von Fasern

Category: fiber optics and waveguides

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Microbends are microscopic bends of an optical fiber, which can cause bend losses (bend-induced propagation losses) even when the fiber is macroscopically kept straight. Also, they influence the polarization mode dispersion.

Microbends largely arise not during the process of pulling the fiber from the preform, but when the fiber is cabled or spooled. Of course, the amount of microbends depends strongly on the cabling or spooling technology. For modern telecom fibers, microbends are carefully minimized.

It is also possible to intentionally introduce microbends e.g. in order to realize a special kind of fiber Bragg grating [5].


[1]L. Jeunhomme and J. P. Pocholle, “Mode coupling in a multimode optical fiber with microbends”, Appl. Opt. 14 (10), 2400 (1975), doi:10.1364/AO.14.002400
[2]D. Marcuse, “Microdeformation losses of single-mode fibers”, Appl. Opt. 23 (7), 1082 (1984), doi:10.1364/AO.23.001082
[3]J. N. Blake et al., “Analysis of intermodal coupling in a two-mode fiber with periodic microbends”, Opt. Lett. 12 (4), 281 (1987), doi:10.1364/OL.12.000281
[4]V. Arya et al., “Microbend losses in singlemode optical fibers: theoretical and experimental investigation”, IEEE J. Lightwave Technol. 13 (10), 1998 (1995), doi:10.1109/50.469736
[5]In K. Hwang et al., “Long-period fiber gratings based on periodic microbends”, Opt. Lett. 24 (18), 1263 (1999), doi:10.1364/OL.24.001263

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See also: bend losses, polarization mode dispersion, fibers, propagation losses
and other articles in the category fiber optics and waveguides


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