Robustness of Light-Transport Processes to Bending Deformations in Graded-Index Multimode Waveguides

Dirk E. Boonzajer Flaes, Jan Stopka, Sergey Turtaev, Johannes F. de Boer, Tomáš Tyc (Lead / Corresponding author), Tomáš Čižmár

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89 Citations (Scopus)
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Light transport through a multimode optical waveguide undergoes changes when subjected to bending deformations. We show that optical waveguides with a perfectly parabolic refractive index profile are almost immune to bending, conserving the structure of propagation-invariant modes. Moreover, we show that changes to the transmission matrix of parabolic-index fibers due to bending can be expressed with only two free parameters, regardless of how complex a particular deformation is. We provide detailed analysis of experimentally measured transmission matrices of a commercially available graded-index fiber as well as a gradient-index rod-lens featuring a very faithful parabolic refractive index profile. Although parabolic-index fibers with a sufficiently precise refractive index profile are not within our reach, we show that imaging performance with standard commercially available graded-index fibers is significantly less influenced by bending deformations than stepindex types under the same conditions. Our work thus predicts that the availability of ultra-precise parabolic-index fibers will make endoscopic applications with flexible probes feasible and free from extremely elaborate computational challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Article number233901
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2018


  • Biological physics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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