Mode cleaning capability of an optical fiber was measured. The conclusion is that the leakage of the non-fiber mode to the fiber output is insignificant and also practically negligible.
The tested fiber was Thorlabs 5-m Polarization Maintaining Single-Mode fiber (P3-1064PM-FC-5, PM Patch Cable, PANDA, 1064 nm, FC/APC, 5m).
The output mode cleaner was used as a mode analyzer. The fiber input was aligned and the misaligned so that the amount of higher order mode for the fiber is changed. The fiber output has been mode matched to an output mode cleaner. Therefore excess mode mismatch when the fiber input was misaligned, was accounted as the leakage higher order mode.
For each alignment state, the OMC transmission (in V), the OMC reflection (in V), and the OMC reflection with the OMC unlocked were measured. The voltages were measured with a digital multimeter (non-portable unit). With the fiber input beam aligned to the fiber, the fiber input and output powers were measured with a power meter.
With the input beam aligned
- Fiber input: 52.5 +/- 0.2 [mW]
- Fiber output: 35.5 +/- 0.2 [mW] (~68% coupling)
- Reflection PD offset: -0.00677 +/- 0.00001 [V]
- Refl PD reading with the OMC unlocked: 6.32 +/- 0.01 [V]
- Refl PD reading with the OMC locked: 0.133 +/- 0.002 [V]
- OMC Trans PD with the OMC locked: -1.72 +/- 0.01 [V]
With the input beam misaligned
- Refl PD reading with the OMC unlocked: 3.63 +/- 0.01 [V]
- Refl PD reading with the OMC locked: 0.0752 +/- 0.001 [V]
- OMC Trans PD with the OMC locked: -1.00 +/- 0.01 [V]
The naive mode matching was 0.9779 +/- 0.0003 and 0.9775 +/- 0.0003 without and with misalignment. We initially had roughly 17mW of non-fiber mode incident. And it was increased by roughly 15mW. For the misaligned case, the amount of the OMC-matched carrier was also reduced due to the misalignment. So the actual fiber mode cleaning effect needs more careful quantitative analysis.
The power budget at each part of the setup was modeled as shown in Attachment 1. The blue numbers are the measured values.
The factor a is the ratio of the leakage non-fiber mode into the fiber transmission.
The factor (1-b) is the mode matching of the fiber mode into the OMC mode.
With the calibration between the refl PD and the power meter measurement,
So, the leakage of the non-fiber mode to the fiber output is insignificant. Moreover, the number is practically negligible because the mismatching between the fiber and OMC modes is of the order of percent and dominated by the aberration of the collimator (i.e. the OMC reflection looks like concentric higher-order LG modes) with the order of 1~2%.