Weakly guiding waveguides

  • Allan W. Snyder
  • John D. Love


In Chapter 11 we discussed the fundamental properties of modes on optical waveguides. The vector fields of these modes are solutions of Maxwell’s source-free equations or, equivalently, the homogeneous vector wave equations. However, we found in Chapter 12 that there are few known refractive-index profiles for which Maxwell’s equations lead to exact solutions for the modal fields. Of these the step-profile is probably the only one of practical interest. Even for this relatively simple profile the derivation of the vector modal fields on a fiber is cumbersome. The objective of this chapter is to lay the foundations of an approximation method [1,2], which capitalizes on the small variation in refractive-index profile of fibers used for long-distance communications, i.e. Δ ≪ 1, where Δ is the profile height parameter of Eq. (11-48). The simplicity of this approximation method is that it relies on solutions of the scalar wave equation, rather than on vector solutions of the vector wave equation.


Fundamental Mode Propagation Constant Modal Field Structural Anisotropy Transverse Electric Field 
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Copyright information

© Allan W. Snyder and John D. Love 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allan W. Snyder
    • 1
  • John D. Love
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Advanced StudiesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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