Interferometric characterization of few-mode fibers (FMF) for mode-division multiplexing (MDM)

Olena Muliar, Mario A. Usuga Castaneda, Karsten Rottwitt, Jesper Lægsgaard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

597 Downloads (Pure)


The rapid growth of global data traffic demands the continuous search for new technologies and systems that could increase transmission capacity in optical links and recent experiments show that to do so, it is advantageous to explore new degrees of freedom such as polarization, wavelength or optical modes. Mode division multiplexing (MDM) appears in this context as a promising and viable solution for such capacity increase, since it utilizes multiple spatial modes of an optical fiber as individual communication channels for data transmission. In order to evaluate its performance, a MDM system requires advanced characterization methods with regard to the modal content of its photonics components and in particular of the fibers involved for data transmission. In this contribution we present a time-domain interferometric technique for a full modal characterization of few mode fibers (FMF), commonly used in a MDM scenario. This experimental technique requires the use of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer, where the reference's path length is controlled by an optical delay line. The interference between the output beams of reference and fiber under test (FUT) is recorded on a CCD camera and a careful evaluation of the resulting interferograms allows us to have full access to key parameters such as number of modes, modal weight, differential time delay between propagating modes and intensity profiles. In this work, we apply this simple and complete characterization method to the case of a short link with two optical modes propagating in a FMF, which illustrates its potential as a diagnostic tool for MDM systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
EditorsYakov G. Soskind, Craig Olson
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2015
Article number936909
ISBN (Print)9781628414592
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventPhotonic Instrumentation Engineering II - San Francisco, Ca, United States
Duration: 11 Feb 201512 Feb 2015


ConferencePhotonic Instrumentation Engineering II
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, Ca
SeriesProceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2015 Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic electronic or print reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


  • Mode division multiplexing
  • Few mode fiber
  • Low coherence interferometry.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Interferometric characterization of few-mode fibers (FMF) for mode-division multiplexing (MDM)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this