Supercontinuum generation in crystal fibres

Nikola Ivanov Nikolov1,2 and Ole Bang1

1Department of Informatics and Mathematical Modelling
Technical University of Denmark, building 321
DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark.

2Optics and Fluid Dynamics Department, OFD-129,
Risø National Laboratory
DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark

Since the first fabrication of a holey fiber in 1996 [1], many investigations on the remarkable properties of these fibers have been done. Holey fibers are now used in many areas as nonlinear optics, quantum electrodynamics, fiber optics, spectroscopy, biomedical optics, metrology and many others [2]. Photonic-crystal-fibers (PCF) are holey fibers where the cladding holes are aranged in periodicity. Due to that periodicity a photonic band-gap in the transmission spectra perpendiculary to the waveguide direction is formed. The photonic band-gap effect gives rise to an engineerable waveguide contribution of the group-velocity-dispersion and very unsual chromatic dispersion characteristics can be achieved using PCF. Another important property of PCF's is the strong confinment of the light around the fiber core, wich gives rise to strong nonlinear effects. These two features lead to the possibility of effective generation of supercontinuum light in PCF's.

We investigated the dispersion properties of PCF wich were then used to model the propagation of ps and fs pulses by numerical integration of generalized coupled nonlinear Shrödinger equations. As it was recently shown experimentaly and numericalily by Coen et al. [3], our simulations prove that PCF are a very promising tool for supercontinumm generation.


  1. J.C Knight, T.A. Birks, P.St.J. Russell, D.M. Atkin, "All-silica single-mode optical fiber with photonic crystal cladding", Opt. Lett. 21, 1547 (1996).
  2. A.M. Zhelnikov, "Holey fibers", Physics-Uspekhi 43, 1125 (2000).
  3. S. Coen, A.H.L. Chau, R. Leonhardt, J.D. Harvey, J.C. Knight, W.J. Wadsworth, and P.St.J. Russell, "White light supercontinuum generation with 60-ps pump pulses in a photonic crystal fiber", Opt. Lett. 26, 1356 (2001).