List of Division publications with links

2017-01-16 08:00 - Helically twisted photonic crystal fibres

P. St.J. Russell, R. Beravat, and G. K. L. Wong, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 375, 20150440 (2017).

Recent theoretical and experimental work on helically twisted photonic crystal fibres (PCFs) is reviewed. Helical Bloch theory is introduced, including a new formalism based on the tight-binding approximation. It is used to explore and explain a variety of unusual effects that appear in a range of different twisted PCFs, including fibres with a single core and fibres with N cores arranged in a ring around the fibre axis. We discuss a new kind of birefringence that causes the propagation constants of left- and right-spinning optical vortices to be non-degenerate for the same order of orbital angular momentum (OAM). Topological effects, arising from the twisted periodic 'space', cause light to spiral around the fibre axis, with fascinating consequences, including the appearance of dips in the transmission spectrum and low loss guidance in coreless PCF. Discussing twisted fibres with a single off-axis core, we report that optical activity in a PCF is opposite in sign to that seen in a step-index fibre. Fabrication techniques are briefly described and emerging applications reviewed. The analytical results of helical Bloch theory are verified by an extensive series of 'numerical experiments' based on finite-element solutions of Maxwell's equations in a helicoidal frame.

doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2015.0440