Modal filtering for midinfrared nulling interferometry using single mode silver halide fibers

A. Ksendzov*, T. Lewi, O. P. Lay, S. R. Martin, R. O. Gappinger, P. R. Lawson, R. D. Peters, S. Shalem, A. Tsun, A. Katzir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We demonstrate the modal filtering properties of newly developed single mode silver halide fibers for use at midinfrared wavelengths, centered at 10.5 μm. The goal was to achieve a suppression of nonfundamental modes greater than a factor of 300 to enable the detection and characterization of Earthlike exoplanets with a space-based nulling interferometer. Fiber segments of 4.5 cm, 10.5 cm, 15 cm, and 20 cm lengths were tested. We find that the performance of the fiber was limited not by the modal filtering properties of the core but by the unsuppressed cladding modes present at the output of the fiber. In 10.5 cm and longer sections, this effect can be alleviated by properly aperturing the output. Exclusive of coupling losses, the fiber segments of 10.5-20 cm length can provide power suppression of undesirable components of the input field by a factor of 15000 at least. The demonstrated performance thus far surpasses our requirements, such that even very short sections of fiber provide adequate modal filtering for exoplanet characterization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5728-5735
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Optics
Volume47
Issue number31
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2008

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