For an optical fiber, a step-index profile is a refractive index profile characterized by a uniform refractive index within the core and a sharp decrease in refractive index at the core-cladding interface so that the cladding is of a lower refractive index. The step-index profile corresponds to a power-law index profile with the profile parameter approaching infinity. The step-index profile is used in most single-mode fibers and some multimode fibers.
A step-index fiber is characterized by the core and cladding refractive indices n1 and n2 and the core and cladding radii a and b. Examples of standard core and cladding diameters 2a/2b are 8/125, 50/125, 62.5/125, 85/125, or 100/140 (units of µm). The fractional refractive-index change . The value of n1 is typically between 1.44 and 1.46, and is typically between 0.001 and 0.02.
Pulse dispersion in a step index optical fiber is given by
- is the difference in refractive indices of core and cladding.
- is the refractive index of core
- is the length of the optical fiber under observation
- is the speed of light