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Optical Fiber Transmission Media
--:]TER
OUTLINE
.:::.rduction
-:.tor)
of Optical Fiber Communications
-,:;ical
Fibers versus Metallic Cable Facilities
-
:;tromagnetic Spectrum
:
..k
Diagram of an Optical Fiber
-- -
:'nmunications System
::r.al Fiber Types
'
-r:ht
Propagation
I E Optical Fiber Configurations
l-9 Optical Fiber Classifications
I l0 Losses in Optical Fiber Cables
I ll Light Sources
1- ll Optical Sources
I l-l Light Detectors
l- 1-1 Lasers
I ' I 5 Optical Fiber System Link Bud-set
-: -::TIVES
|
-.-.'-rc
optical comnrunications
I
:-:renr
an overview ofthe history ofoptical tibers and optical fiber communications
I :-.pare the advantages and disadvantages of optical fibers over metallic cables
! :::ne electromagnetic
frcquency
and wavelenqth spectrunt
I
-
:.:nbe several types of optical fiber construction
t :
,
:.,iin the physics of light and the following terms: velocity of propagation. refraction. refractir e index. critical
I
I
!
--:-e.
acceptance angle, acceptance cone. and numerical aperture
-:.-ribe
how light waves propagate through an optical fiber cable
-.-..te
ntocles of propugtttion and irtdex profile
:
t.
ribe the three types of optical fiber configurations: single-mode step index. multimode step index. and mul-
'Je
-craded
index
:..:rbe the various losses incurred in optical fiber cables
-: :e liqht source and optical
power
-:i.rbe
lhe following light sources: tight-emitting diodes and injection diodes
-
..-:rbe the following light detectors: PIN diodes and avalanche photodiodes
:.-::be the operation ofa laser
.:..:n
ho$ to calculate a link budget for an optical fiber system
1
I
I
!
I
I
a
1.1 INTRODUCTION
1-2 HISTORY OF
Optical fiber cables are the newest and probably the most promising type of guided trans-
mission medium for virtually all forms ot'digital and data communications
applications'
in
cluding local, metropolitan'
and wide area networks With optical fibers' electromagnetic
waves"are
guided thiough a media composed of a transparent material without using elec-
trical cuneirt t'low. With optical fibers, electromagnetic
light waves propagate through the
media in much the same way that radio signals
propagate through Earth's atmosphere'
In essence, an oPtic'(tl cotttttlLotic4'i;rts
J-) ste'' is one that uses light as the carier of
information. Propagating
light waves thrcugh Earth's atmosphere
is difficult and often im-
prr.tl.ul. Cun."quJntly.-opiical
fiber communications
systems use glass or plastic fiber ca-
Lles to
'colralri: the light waves and guide them in a manner similar to the way electro-
magnetic \i'aves are guidecl through a metallic transmission
medium
.
The itdbrnutiort-carning
cayrcin of any electronic
communications
system is di-
rectly proportional to bandwidth. Optical fiber cables have' for all practical purposes' an in-
nnite ilaniwidth. Therefore. they have the capacity to carry much more information
than
their metallic counterparts
or. for that matter, even tAe most sophisticated
wireless com-
munications
sYStems.
For comparison
purposes. it is common to express the bandwidth of an analog com-
munications system as a
Percenlage
of its carier frequency This is sometimes called the
bandtidth utiiizatio,? r4ti;. For inatance. a VHF raclio communications
system operating at
acarrierfrequencyofl00MHzwithl0-MHzbandwidthhasabandwidthutiliZationratio
of 10olr. A microwave rcdio system operating at a carrier frequency of l0 GHz with a l07r
handwirlth utilization ratio would hive I GHz of bandwidth available Obviously' the
higher the caniel fiequency. the more bandwidth available' and the
greater the information-
ca-rrvins caoacitl. Lighr frequencies used in optical fiber communications
systems are be-
* i,i" io'' ir,"no+
.l0'rHz(100.000GHzto400,000GHz)
A bandwidth utiliza-
tion ratio of 107. would be a bandwidth between 10,000 GHz and 40'000 GHz'
OPTICAL FIBEB COMMUNICATIONS
In 1880. Alexander Graham Bell experimented
u ith an appalatus he called a photophone'
The photophone was a device constructed
t'rom mirrors and selenium detectors that fians-
,oitt.,i ,ornd *u.'., over a beam of light The photophone was awkward and unreliable and
hacl no real practical application. Actuall\.
Iisual light was a primary means ofcommuni-
cating long ;efore eleciionic communications
came about Smoke signals and minors were
ur.d-ag.r-ago
to conrel shon. simple messages Bell's contraption'
however' was the tirst
attempt at using a beam of light for carrying information'
Transmission of light waves for any useful distance through Earth's atmosphere
is
impractical because water vapor, oxygen. and particulates in the air absorb and attenuate
the signals at light frequencie.s. Consequently.
the only practical type of optical communi-
catiois system is one that uses a fiber guide ln 1930' J' L. Baird' an English scientist' and
c. w. Hansell. a scientist from the u;ircd States, were granted patents for scanning and
transmitting
television images through uncoated fiber cables A few years later' a German
scientist named H. Lamm successfully transmitted images through a single glass fiber At
that time, most people considered fiber optics more of a toy or a laboratory stunt and' con-
sequently. it was not until the early 1950s that any substantial breakthrough was'.qnade in
the field of tiber oPtics.
In t951. A. b. S. van Heel of Holland and H H Hopkins andN' S Kapany ofEn-
glandexperimentedwithlighttransmissionthroughDundlesoffibers.Theirstudies]edto
t-h. d.r"iop..rt of the
fle;ible fberscope,
which is used extensively in the medical held'
It uas Kapany who coined the teIm
"fiber optics" in 1956'
Chapter 1
ns-
in-
:ric
rhe
iof
im-
ln 1958. Charles H. Townes. an American. and Afthur L. Scharvlou. a Canadian.
wrote a paper describing how it was possible to use stimulated emission for amplifying light
waves (laser) as well as microwaves
(maser).
Two years later. Thcodore H. Maintan. a sci
entist with Hughes Aircraft Company, built the first optical maser
The laser (Iight amplification by .rtimulated emission of radiatir)n) was invented in
1960. The laser's relatively high output po*'er. high tiequcncy of operation. and capabilitl
of carrying an extremely wide bandwidth signal make it ideally suited for high-capacity
communications systems. The invention of the laser
-sreatly
accelerated research efforts in
fiber-optic coinmunications. although it was not until I967 that K. C. Kao and C. A. Bock-
hanr of the Standard Telecommunications Laboratory in England proposed a new conrmu-
nications medium using c larlded fiber cables.
The fiber cables available in the 1960s were extrenre)y 1tr.r.ir'
(more
than 1000
dB/km), which limited optical transmissions to short distances. ln 1970. Kapron. Keck. and
Maurer of Corning Glass Works in Corning, New York. developed an optical tiber with
losses less than 2 dB/km. That was the
"big"
breakthrough needed to pcrnlit practical flber
optics communications systems. Since l9?0, fiber optics technology has grown exponen-
tially. Recently. Bell Laboratories succ'essfully transmitted I billion bps thlough a fiber ca-
ble for 600 miles without a regenerator
In the late 1970s and early 1980s. the refinement ofoptical cables and the development
ofhigh-quality, affordable light sources and detectors opened the door to the development of
high-quality, high-capacity, etficient, and affordable optical fiber communications systems. By
the late 1980s, losses in optical fibers were reduced to as low as 0.16 dB/krn. and in 1988 NEC
Corporation set a new long-haul transmission record by transrnitting I0
-uigabytes
per second
over 80.1 kilometers ofoptical fiber Also in 1988, the American National Standards Institute
(ANSI) published th e St trchntnous Opricdl Nenrork
(.SON
ET). By the mid- I 990s. opticnl voice
and data networks were commonplace throughout the United States and much ofthe world.
ca-
IIO-
di-
L in-
han
!rll1-
!)In-
. the
lg at
-atio
l0 ,q(
the
:ion-
: be-
iiza-
lt)tle.
rans-
: and
nuni-
\\ ere
| first
rre is
nuate
nuni-
r. and
i and
,I11AN
er. At
. con-
rde in
ri En-
led to
field.
OPTICAL FIBERS VERSUS CABLE FACILITIES
Communications through glass or plastic fibers has several advantages ovel conven-
tional metallic transmission media for both telecommunication and computer rretworking
applications.
1-3-1 Advantages of Optical Fiber Cables
The advantagcs of using optical fibers include the tbllou ing:
l. Wider bandridtlt and grcdter iDformLltiott
('lPttit\'.
Optical fiberr hirr e treater in-
formation capacity than metallic cabies becalrse of lhe inherentl) s idel bands idth: lr ail-
able with optical t'requencies. Optical libers ure arailable \\ith band\\idlh\ up lo \e\eral
thousand gigahertz. The pri,ran eleclritttl tottslunrs
(lesi\tan!-e.
inductance. and capaci-
tance) in metallic cables cause them to act like lo\\ -prss iille[s. $ hich lintit iheir triir]\nlis-
sion frequencies, band$,idth. bit rate. and intbrmttion-carq ing clpircil). \lode:n optical
fiber communications systems arc capable of transmitting ser elal gigrbitr per second over
hundreds of miles, allowing literally millions of indi\ idLral \ oice .1nd clata channels to be
combined and propagated over one optical tiber cable.
2. Inmwtitv to <rossr4lt. Optical fiber cables are inmune to crosstalk becaLlse glass
and plastic fibers are nonconductors ofelectrical curent. Therelbre. fiber cables are not sur
rounded by a changing magnetic tield. which is the prima4 cause ol crosstalk between
metallic conductors located physical)y close to each other.
3. lmmufiit\'tu stciic interferefice. Because optical tiber cables are nonconductors of
electrical current, they are immune to static noise due to electromagnetic interference
(EMI) caused by lightning, electric motors. relays. fluorescent lights. and other electrical
Fiber Transmission Media
noise sources
(most
of which are man-made). For the same reason' fiber cables do not ra-
diate electromrg.netic
energl
4. Entirotlma t.tl inrlrlnin. Optical fiber cables are more resistant to environmen-
ul extremes
(including weather variations) than metallic cables Optical cables also oper-
ate over a wider temperature range and are less aftected by corrosive liquids and gases'
5. Sa/en anrl contefiien('e. Oplicdl fiber cables are sat'er and easier to install and
maintain than metallic cables. Because glass and plastic fibers are noncondrrdors-
there are
no electrical currents or voltages associated
with them Optical fibers can be used around
volatile liquids and gasses without worying about their causing explosions or fires Opti-
cal tibers are also smaller and much more lightweight and compact than metallic cables'
Consequently.
they are more f-lexible. easier to work with' require less storage space'
cheaper to transport. and easier to install and maintain.
6. Lrnter trctnsmi.isiorr /oss Optical libers have considerably less signal loss than
their metallic counterparts. Optical tibers are cuffently being manufactured
with as lit-
tle as a few tenths-of-a-decibel
loss per kilometer. Consequently' optical regenerators
anit amplifiers can be spaced considerably
farther apart than $ith metallic transmission
lines.
7. Secrrill. Optical fiber cables are more secure than metallic cables lt is virtuall)
impossible to tap into a fiber cable without the user's knowledge' and optical cables cannot
be detected with metal detectors unless they are reintbrced with steel for strength'
8. Durat:tilitl
(tnd
rcliabilitt Optical fiber cables last longer and are more reliable
than metallic facilities because fiber cables have a higher tolemnce to changes in environ-
mental conditions and are immune to colrosive materials'
9. Econontics. The cost of optical fiber cables is approximately the same as metalli'
cables. Fiber cables have less loss and require fewer repeaters' \
'hich
equates to lower in-
stallation and overall systen costs and improved reliability'
1-3-2 Disadvantages of Optical Fiber Cables
Although the advantag;s of optical tiber cables far exceed the disadvantages
it is impor-
tant to know rhe limirations of the fiber. The disad!antages of optical fibeIS include Ihe
following:
l. lntetf(kittg cost.t Optical fiber cable s) stems are virtually useless by themseh e!
Tobepracticalanduseful.the},muslbeconnectedtostandardelectronicfacilities.whic]:
often require expensir e interf'aces
2. Strengih. Optical ilbers bl themsehes have a significantly lower tensile sffensti
than coaxial cabie. This can be improred by coating the fiber with standard Ker'lar and
"
protective
jacket of PVC. In addition. glass fiber is much more tiagile than copper \\ iri'
making fiber less attractive
where hardwarc portability is required'
i. Renu)te electrical
por|er Occasionally.
it is necessary to provide electrical
po* e:
to remote interface or regenerating equipment. This cannot be accomplished
with the opt:'
cal cable. so additional metallic cables must be included in the cable assembly'
4. OptiutlJiber utbles are more susceptible to Losses iriroducetl by bending tlte c':'
b1c. Electromagnetic
waves propagate through an optical cable by either refraction or re'
flection. Thereibre. bending the cable causes irregularities in the cable dimensions' rcsu::-
ing in a loss of signal power. Optical fibers are also more prone to manufacturing defec:'
as even the most minor detect can cause excessive loss of signal power'
5, Speciali:ed kx s. equiltnent. trnd truining' Optical fibcr cables require spec:'
turls to splice anrl repair cables and special test equipment to make routine measuremen:'
Not only is repairing fiber cables difficult and expensive, but technicians working on op:--
cal cables also require special skills and training. tn addition' sometimes it is difTicult to -
cate taults in optical cables because there is no electrical continuity'
Chapter'l
:l
i
i'l
j
Lol ra-
1n]en-
!rper-
ll and
:re are
lIound
Opti
:ibles.
'pace.
.l
than
-ir lit-
lrators
r
iiiion
nually
a.lnnot
-eliable
n\ iron-
r,etiillic
u er in-
tmpor-
':de the
nielr es.
r. n hich
iirength
.ir rnd a
,31 ,,r
ire.
,i ptru er
:h: opti-
: :ik ca-
ai't rrr re-
.. re\ult-
: Jelects.
e lpecial
lrSments.
: in opli
:uh lo Io-
., E
=sE
=c
=-
I
g
g
9 o oE .g*E :
"Ef;iAi5e=
eE * E;
-Eg;;gEEfit
s5 i 5E
103 1oa
k{z
105 106
N4Hz
(mega)
GHz
(sisa)
nt 1d 1o"lo- 1d' 1d' 10" 1oj4 1or5 1016 1oj7 loro 1ole 1020 1021 10'z2
THz Ptlz EHz
(tera) (penta) (exa)
(kilo)
<
Frequency
FIGUBE 1-1 Electrcmagnetic frequency spectrum
,..1
ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM
The total electromagnetic frequency spectrum is shown in Figure 1-1. From the figure, it can
be seen that the frequency spectrum extends from the subsonic frequencies
(a l'ew hertz) to
cosmic rays
(1022 Hz). The light frequency spectrum can be divided into three general bands:
l. Infrared. The band of light frequencies that is too high to be seen by the human
eye with wavelengths ranging between 770 nm and 106 nm. Optical fiber systems
generally operate in the infrared band.
l. Wsible. The band oflightfrequencies to which the human eye will respond with wave-
lengths ranging between 390 nm and 770 nm. This band is visible to the human eye'
i. Ultraviolet. The band of light frequencies that are too low to be seen by the hu-
man eye with wavelengths ranging between l0 nm and 390 nm.
When dealing with ultra-high-frequency
electromagnetic waves, such as Iight, it is
common to use units ofwavelength rather than frequency. Wavelength is the length that one
cycle of an electromagnetic wave occupies in space. The length of a wavelength depends
on the frequency of the waYe and the velocity of light. Mathematically.
wavelength is
(l-l)
where I =
wavelength
(meters/cycle)
c = velocity of light
(300'000,000 meters per second)
./:
frequencY
(hertz)
With light frequencies, wavelength is olien stated in microns' where I micron =
1o
"
meter (l gm), or in nanometers
(nm), where 1 nm
:
10
e
meter' However, when describ-
ing the optical specfum, the unit angstrom is sometimes used to express wavelength' where
I angstrom
:
10-
ro
metet or 0.0001 micron. Figure I -2 shows the total electromagneti(
wavelength sPectrum
: BLOCK DIAGBAM OF AN OPTICAL FIBER
:OMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
Figure l-3 shows a simplified block diagram of a simplex optical fiber communicrtions
link. The three primary building btocks are the transmitter, the receiver, and the optical trber
cable. The transmitter is comprised of a voltage-to-cunent converter. a light source lnd ;
source{o-fiber interface (light coupler). The fiber guide is the trattsmi<sion medium
rrhi;i:
x=;
-:::al
Fiber Tnansnrission Media
um
0.01 2 3 3.9 4.55 4.92 5.77 5.97 6.22
Aloo 2ooo 3ooo
ggoo
4550 4920 s77o s97o 6220
nm 10 200 300 390 455 492 577 597 622
Exlreme Far Near Vio Blue Green Yel Orng
Ultraviolet Visible light
Gamma rays
Cosmic rays X-rays
7.7 15 60 400 1000
7700 15,000 60,000 400,000 1,000,000
770 1500 6000 40000 10000
Near Middle Fat Fat Fat
lnfrared
Long electrical
oscillalions
Radio waves
Microwaves
t ||t lllllllllllll
Hz 1o-7 10-6 1os 1041o-3 102 1or 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 1oo 1oe 10101011 101210131014 1ors10161017
Wavelenglh
Electrcmagnetic wavelength spectrum
Source
Analog or
digilal
interface
Fiber-to-
light detector
interface
Transmitter
Voltage-to-
current
converter
Optical liber cable
Source-to-
fiber
interface
Current-to-
voltage
converter
Light
source
Optical fiber cable
Signal
regenerator
Light
delector
Beceiver
Analog or
digital
interface
Destination
opiical fiber communications link
l
o,000
l0
is either an ultrapure glass or a plastic cable. It may be necessary to add one or more re-
generators to the tlansmission medium, depending on the distance between the transmitter
and receiver Functionally, the regenerator performs light amplification. However, in real-
ity the signal is not actually amplified; it is reconstucted. The receiver includes a fiber-to-
interface (light coupler), a photo detectot and a cunent-to-voltage converter
In the transmitter, the light source can be modulated by a digital or an analog signal.
The voltage-to-current converter seryes as an electrical interface between the input circuitry
and the light source. The light source is either an infrared light-et tting diode
(LED)
or an
injection laser diode
(tLD). The amount of light emitted by either an LED or ILD is pro-
portional to the amount ofddve current. Thus, the voltage-to-current converter converts an
input signal voltage to a current that is used to drive the light source. The light outputted by
the light source is directly proportional to the magnitude of the input \'oltage. In essence,
the light intensity is modulated by the input signal.
The source-to-fiber coupler (such as an optical lens) is a mechanical interface. lts
function is to couple light emitted by the Iight source into the optical iiber cable. The opti-
cal fiber consists of a glass or plastic fiber core surrounded by a cladding and then encap-
sulated in a protective jacket.
The fiber-to-light detector-coupling device is also a mechan
ical coupler [ts function is to couple as much light as possible from the fiber cable into the
light detector
The light detector is generally a PIN
(p-type-intrinsic-r-type)
diode, an APD
(ava-
lanche photodiode)
,
ot a phototdnsistor All three of these devices convert light energ-"- to
current. Consequently, a cu[ent-to-voltage converter is required to produce an output lolt-
age proportional to the original source information. The current-to-voltage converter trans-
forms changes in detector current to changes in voltage.
The analog or digital interfaces are electrical interfaces that match impedances and
signal levels between the information source and destination to the input and output cir-
cuitry of the optical system.
':
The actual fiber ponion of an optical cable is generally considered to include both the fiber
core andlts cladding (see Figure l-4). A special lacquer, silicone. or acrylate coating is gen
erally applied to the outside of the cladding to seal and preserve the fiber's strcngth, help-
Polyurethane outer
jacket
Strength members
Bufler
jacket
Protective coating
:
Ftoer core
and cladding
'iGURE
'1
4 Optical fiber cable
construction
ing rnaintatn
lhe cablet
altcnuation
characlerl5lic.i
The coallng
also help'
protect the fiber
from moisture.
r', h iih reduce'
'
h" pt-:i;ili;t
o[ I he occurren(e
o[ a Jel rimental
phenome-
non called sr?.ts
(orrorlor
i'"tttl''"t'i'1f"a
sttttic
fatigue)
caused
by high humidiq'
Moisture
causes
sili.un
ait'^iOt
t'y'tutl-io
ln"'uo'
*uting
bonds to break down
and spon-
taneous
tiactures
to torm over
"
proittg"J
p"tttr of time
The
pl:tti:*" coating
is sur-
rounded
by a DrrfLri"r"r'
*t'itt'
p'o'ii?'
tit toure uaaltional
protection
against
abrasion
and shock. Materials
commonl,
""ii"'''in"'i'iitr
jacket include
steel' fiberglass'
plastic'
,an-,e-retardanr
poll,ulnyt .t tnrid. {in:trir.
r.rr",
y"rr, and
paper The bufferiacket
is
encaosulaterl
in a s/ re ngtl't men te r
*r,trtrr i*'t**t
t# tensile
stiength
of the overall
cable
:::.Ii';'il";i,r.
;r.,. .nri,t
""utt
""ttuit
i,'
'*uinecl
in an outer
polvurethane
jacket'
There are three
essentiul
typt' oioptitul
fibers
commonly
u\ed loday
All three
varr-
eties are constructed
of either
glass'
ft.rsilt
o'
"
to'uinurion
oI gllss and
plastic:
Plastic core and cladding
Glass core rvith
plastic cladding
(calletl PCS fiber [plastic-clad
silica])
Glass core and
glass claclding
(called SCS Isilica-clad
silical)
Plastic fibers
are more flexible
and' consequently
more mgged
than
glass Therefore'
nlastic cables are easier to install'
c;n;"'
*tii""ni"tttt'
"re
less expensive'
and weigh
aooroximately
601
les' than
gl"'-'ucl*tttt flc'tic
liben
have higher
ettenuation
char-
::i.;'I":;;l
io no' p"'p"g,''
lgr,i
""n'.i'*rr
"
cll::.r[f'-|"*
prastic fibers
are
i*,i,.J-.
r.r",it.r1'hon
irble run}
such as $ ithin I \rn8'le burlorn!:
Fibers
with
glass cores
n*;'l;;t-;;";t,on
thari
plastic fibers'
with PCS being
slichtly betrer than scs. PCS rit"r.-rr.
"l.o
less atltcted
by radiation
and'
lh"t:l:-t-::.11'
HJffi;;
;;iior
init'tt"ntt
scs tibers have the best
propasation
characte,suc:
and are easier to termin"te
tt'rln
pciiiit]I
union'n"ttr''
scS fibers
are the least rugge'J.
anil thev are more susceptible
to inl'*tt'
in
"tttn'otion
when exposed
to radiation'
""" ";i;
t.i;;,i;;
oi" iiu"' ro' u gi'"o appliertion
is a function
of the specific
svstem
re-
quirements.
There u" al*'y'
t'udti"
t iiJ"Jt'
tt't tt"nomics
and logistics
ofapanicu-
lar aPPlication.
l-6-!-l
(:tlrlct0rrlittirnlitrrr\'
There
are many rlitfbrcnt
cab^le designs
available
t''-
dlr. Fiqure
l-5
shor',' c\lmPle'
ol
""'"1
oprit'l
filer cable configurution'
With loo"
iJ;. :;;:,;r:,i.;',;ig
u" l-s''
"..t''iit'"-i"Ln',,'n"a
in
'
p'otective
tube lnsidethetuhe
;;il;#il;':;;";i111'1.,j;j
ffi
,*,';::-t:,1[:1il:111,".1
l"fi
*
jJ
I
t"[T.",i"".11i'i,]lf.',',,i,:::*Hf
:*:::I**;:l*#::i::,*1!::l:
bond' to breuk do$ n. causing
sPont'
fiber cables have mo,. thon on.
p,.,t.ctive
coating
to ensure that the tjber,s chalactellSu.l
do not alter if the fib", i'
"'potta
tt"^t'"-*t
t"nri"'u"tt
tf.tanges'
Surounding
the fiber''
ctadding
is usuallv
a coatins
of
'nh;';;;;;;'
-;ii.o"
",*'vlt:..t'l:j
is tvpicatlv
appliec
;;;';;;;;t.,i'.
the fibe; s strensth
antl attenuati.n
charactenstrcs'
Figure l-5b shows
tnt **"triii"'
"fl
constraineil
optical
fiber cable Surroundin;
the liber are a primary
and a secono-o-f
iuiit"otprised
of Kevlar
yarn' which
increas:'
the tensile
strength
of the t"Ur"
"'a
iJJ*
p'ottttion
from external
mechanical
infl;'
;;;;i.;"il'.""se
fiber breakage
or exces'ire
optici'l rttenuation
Again'
an outer
Pri-
tective
tube is litled
with polyuretn'ane'
wt'ictr
prevents moisture
tiom coming
into contJ':
*"n t?:lTt,:;itrhows
a
'xr11ip1?-
rr/'dnd cable configuration'
which includes
a steel cer'
,,", ,":"il:;
i,i; ,;;;;;
Nivl;";;;"i
'u
in"'"':"
th" cable'' tensile
strensth
Fisu:'
l
_5d
shou.s a ribbon
confi
gurarionllo,
, ,.i.pt on. cuble, und Figure
I -5e shows bolh
e: :
anil side views of a PCS cable
Chaprer
1
b.r
ne-
ll.
lri
:lng
i!re
rirs
led.
I IC-
la u-
: lo-
)(lie
.ibe.
rhe
dto
iuse
.rnte
,tics
)er's
,lied
Jing
l5es
rt-lu-
Poly!relhano
(3.8
mm)
K6vbr
(2
mm)
Hytrel secondary bufler {1 mm)
Silastic
primsry
bLrfler
(0.4
mm)
Fiber i0.23 mm)
Steel strength mombers
Corrug6ted a!uminum sheath
Euffered fibers
Sl6sl core
Thermalwrap
Polyothylene lut)
Fiber ribbong
tre.
'igh
1Ar-
Jre
Pro-
rtact
Hyirel outer
jackst
Hytrel buter
Cladding
{e)
FIGURE 1-5 Fiber optic cable configumtions:
[a)
loose tube construction;
(b]
constrained fiber;
lcl
multiple st.ands; (dl
telephone cable;
(el plastic-silica cable
As mentioned. one disadvantage of optical fiber cables is their lack of tensile
(pulling) strength, which can be as low as a pound. For this reason, the fiber must be rein-
forced with strengthening material so that it can withstand mechanical stresses it u,i11 t)'pi-
cally undergo when being pulled and
jerked
through underground and overhead ducts and
hung on poles. Materials commonly used to strengthen and protect fibers from abrasion and
environmental stress are steel, fiberglass, plastic. FR-PVC (flame-retardant poll,, inr I chlo-
ride), Kevlar yarn, and paper. The type of cable construction used depends on the perfor-
mance requirements of the system and both economic and environmental constraints.
-
LIGHT PROPAGATION
1-7-1 the Physics of Light
Although the performance of optical fibers can be anall zed completely by application of
Maxwell's equations, this is necessarilv compJex. For most practical applications, geomet-
ric wave tracing may be used instead.
@
gLrre
end
,:: :a Fibe. Transmission Media
lnl860,JamesClerkMaxwelltheorizedthatelectromagneticradiationcontaineda
,.ri.. of o..ifio,ing
waves comprised
of an electric
and a magnetic
field in
quadrature
(at
;;;r;i;.
il;er.
in 1905. Albert Einstein
and Max
ptanck
showed
rhat when light is
emitted or absorbed.
it behaves
like a; J"ttrolnogn"tit
t""" and also like a particle' called
a llaror,
uhich
po\\e\\es enerey
proponionat
io it' frequencl
This theorl i'i Lnown as
i,Llr.il ,,,,,'i;"i.r..
r"* a"..riu",
ite
phoroetcclric
effect. which states.
'when visible
lighl or high-irequencl
eleetromugnetic
radratirrn
illuminales
a metallic
surface' electron'
are emitted."
The emitted etectron'
froduce
an electric
current
Planck's law is expressed
mathematicallY
as
Photon energy
may also be expressed
in terms of wavelength
substituting
Equation
l-1 into Equation
l-2
Yields
E,' =
ltf
I l-.lx )
(l_-thr
where
{,
=
E,,
--
hJ
energy
of the
Photon
ljoules)
Plxnck.(on.l3nl =
6625
'
l0
'''/-r
tiequency
of light
(photon) emitted
(he(z)
d(energY
)
'- ditimel
(l-l)
tl-5a
tlt'
T
An atom has several energy levels or states' the lowest of which is the
ground state'
ery
"r..Sy
[r.iruor
e the groind state is cal]ed an erci'ed
's/'r's
If an atom in one energy
level decays
to a lower energy le\el' the loss of energy
(in electron
volts) is emitted as a
photon of light. The energy
of the
ptluion i' tqtlot tn it'c difference
between
the energy of
the two energy levels. The process of clecaying
fiom one energy
leYel to another energy
level is crltetl :p,rnl atteous
detir.t-or -'P,)ttlttn(t'ttt
etttt\\ton'
Atoms can be i adiated by a ligir sou rce
u hore e nergy ir eq ual to the difference
be-
,**"g."r"Jilr.r
and an energy leiel This cun cause ln electron
to change
from one en-
.'.gv l"-r.l i" ,r*t .r by absorbing
light energy The
Process
of mo-r'ing tiom one energy
level to another is called dtsorptioni*n"n
iluLing
ihe transition
from one energy level
,"'"r.,f,"r,
,fr.
""-
absorbs a
facket
of energy
(a
fhotonl
This process is similarto
that
of emission.
"' '---itt..n"rgy
absorbed
or emitted
(photon) is equal to the dif'ference
between
the two
energy
levels. MathernaticallY'
F,.
-- E:- Lr
il-'l
where E/, is the energy of the photon (ioules)'
1-7-2 OPtical
Power
LiRh;int;n:i^
is a rather complex
concept
that can be.expressed
h either
photo rcttic or
'r,)i,iiri,
n
^".
pi,,t,"er'1:
i" the science
of measuring
only light waves that are visible
to the human eye. Radiometry,
on the other hand rneasures Iight throughout
thc entire elec-
irn*"g"",i.
sp.ct-m.
In photometric terms light intensity is generally
described in terms
of luminousJlrr.t
r/ersit].
antl measuretl
in lumens
per unit area Radiometric
terms' how-
ever, are often more useful t
"trginttt'
and technologists
ln radiometric
tetms' opticttl
;;;;;;;rrr.'
the rate at *hith"lett'ntagnttic,waves
transfer light energy
ln simple
terms,
optical power is described
as thc flo!\';f
light energy
past a given
point in a speci-
tieO time. Optical
powcr is expressed
mathematically
as
10
Chapter
1
i
rned a
ure
(at
ight is
.a11ed
\\\ n as
\ i\ible
lctrons
rressed
l-lr
quarion
I
--lit )
I -.1h )
rd state.
-'energy
:ted as a
nergy of
r energy
ence be-
I \rne en-
e energy
:S) level
rr Io that
r the t$'o
r l-1r
Prric of
rre \ isible
atire elec-
i in terms
tni. how-
\\. oPtical
ln simple
Ln a speci-
Ll-5 )
{l-abr
where P
=
optical power (watts)
r/Q = instantaneous charge (oules)
rt = instantaneous change in time
(seconds)
Optical power is sometimes calletl rodltttrt
Jlu.r
(Q).
which is equivalent to
joules
per second and is the same power that is measured electricallv or thermally in watts. Ra-
diometric terms are generally used with light sources with output powers ranging from
tens of microwatts to more than I00 milliwans. Optical power is generally stated in deci-
bels relative to a defined power level. such as I mW (dBm) or I pW (dBp).
Mathemati-
cally stated.
f Pluarrst
-l
dBm: lOlosl - -- I
-l
U.001 (wattr
)
l
dQ
dt
and
f Ptwaus) I
dbs = 16 l"elo
ooooo,
r
, *.
r
]
{l-6)
t l-'7 )
Example 1-1
Determine the optical power in dBm and dBtrr tbr power levels of
a, l0 mw
b. 20 pW
Solution
a. SubstitutinS into Equations I 6 and I -7 gives
,rs,,,
-
to tosffi - tu asm
dBp ro rus
rfS
- *o reu
l). Substituting into Equations 1-6 and l-7 gives
dBm = to losffi =
-
17 dBm
aep
:
ro tog++
:
r: dap
' lpw
1-7-3 Velocity of Propagation
In free space
(a
vacuum). electromagnetic energy, such as light waves. trarels at ap-
proximately 300,000.000 meters per second ( 186,000 mi/s). Also. in tiee space the ve-
locity of propagation is the same lbr all light frequencies. However. it has been demon-
strated that electromagnetic waves travel slower in materials more dense than free
space and that all light tiequencies do not propagate at the same r elociry. \\'hen the ve-
locity of an electromagnetic wave is reduced as it passes fiom one medium to another
medium of denser material. the light ray changes direction or reliacts
(bends)
toward
the normal. When an electromagnetic wave passes from a more dense matedal into a
less dense nraterial. the light ray is refracted aual liom the normal. The aormal is sim-
ply an imaginary line drawn perpendicular to the interface of the t$,o materials at the
point of incidence.
:
cer Transmission Media 11
un.6frected
raY
Rolrect6d
ray (8enl lowad
normal)
<
I
(iniidont ray)
{a)
/^\
:+
Orange wsvlongth6
Awaylrom
oormal
(More lo less dense)
Red wsvelongths
Yellow wavelsngth3
Grsen wavelengith6
Elus wavelengths
Violt wavl6ngihg
FIGURE
1-6 Refraction
of light: {al
light ref'actlonl
(bl prismatic
nefraction
l-7-.1-lRelractiotr'Forlight-\\'avefrequencies'electromagneticwavestra\:
rhrough
Eanh . atmosphere
I lir I at appro'' imately
the
'ame
\ elocily
as lhrough a vacuu:
,,.;..
il.;;r;iiighir'
Figure l'bl'shous
ho' a tigtrr ray i' rcfractetl
{bentr xs ir patt'
from a Iess dense material
lnto u tl" dtn"
material lActually'
the tight ray is not ben:
ruther. it changes
direction
at the interface )
Figure l-6b shows how sunlight'
which cor'
;il;il;;;?;;rencies
(,"lite tisi'rt' i' affeltea
as it passes rhroush
a material
that
'
moredensethanair.Reflactiono.*rratuotttuitiglassintertlrces'Thevioletwavelengll'
*.',.i*".a
m" most,
whereas the red wavelengths
are rcfracted
the least. The spectr:
i*"*a"
"f
*frf," light in this manner is called
prismatic
refro(tiott'
It is this
phenom=-
non that causes rainuo*r,
*i,ar. *ui., oroplers
in the atmosphere
act es small
prisms th':
;,i
il il;; ."rlt*r,,
inio tttt
'utio"
wa'elengths'
creating
a visible spectrum
of coit':
l-7--1'2Refracti\tlndcr'Theamountofbendingorrefractionthatoccursatl::
interface
of two materials
ol dittereni
densities
is quite predictable and depends
on the ':'
+.^"r;,o ;n/l?es of tt.," ,t o rnut.,iui'
neftacti'e
iniex is simply the ratio of the velocitl
"
'J,1il!:li:il:;,";i-;;;;;;;
;;"'"
the verocitv or propasation
or a rieht rav in a gi\ :
.aterial. Mathematically.
refractive
inder is
c
f
12
Chapter
1
r-ess ainse-
-
iless
to rmre
Glass
(more denee)
where n
:
refractive index
(unitless)
c
=
speed of light in free space
(3 X 108 meters per second)
r' = speed of light in a given material (meters per second)
Although the refractive index is also a function of tiequency. the \ariation in must
light wave applications is insigniiicant and. thus. omitted t'r'om this discussion. The indexes
of refraction of several common materials are given in Table l- | .
l-7--l-.1 Sn|ll',, lil\. How a light ray reacts when it meets the interface of two
transmissive materials that have different indcxcs of refraction can be explained with
Snell's latt. A refiactive index model fbr Snell's larv is shown in Figure 1-7. The coryle of
incidenca is lhe angle at which the propagating ray strikes the interface with respect to the
normal. and the ar.g la of refructbn is the anglc fbrmed between the propagating ray and the
normal after the ray has entered the second medium. At the intertace ol medium I and
medium 2. the incident ray nray be refracted toward the normal or away tiom it, depending
on whether ri, is greater than or less than r.. Hcncc, the angle ofrefraction can be larger or
Tahle I 1 Typical Indexes of Refraction
Material Index of Retraction"
Erhll alcohol
Cla\\ fiber
Dirmond
Silicon
Callium-arsenide
l.{)
1.0001 r=1 )
1.-r-r
l.-16
l.-i-1.9
t.0 1.+l
l..l
2.6
''lndex
of retiaclion i\ b,rsed on a wavelenglh of li!hr emittcd fronr a sodium flamc
re: favel
:i \acuum
r. it passes
! not bent;
*hich con-
rrial that is
,rr elengths
he spectral
, phenome-
prisms that
m of color.
a!'urs at the
il on the re-
: relocity of
ry in a given
(1-tl)
{Toward normal}
Normd
Rolrectod roy Less lo more dense
lnt < n2)
lJ nrelracled ray
(Away
from normal)
. .
Refracted ray
{n,, n2)
Mo to less dense
Modiurn n2
Mdium nt
lncid6nt y
FTGUA!
-
l
:
::
--:_sr_
ss cn Medra
Befractive model fon Sne l's law
',3
nl>n2
Cladding
n2 16S3 dns6
1
=
angle o,
incidence
02
=
angle ol relradion
Unrofrlctd
r8Y
Bent
Reftlcted
reY
(away lrom rDrmal)
More 10 less dense
oz,o,
02 increases
moro than
the increase
in 01
lncidnt
raY
FIGURE
1 I Llght
ray refracted
away
from ihe normal
\maller
thrn the angle
of incidence
depending
on the refraclive
indexes
of the two maten'
ats Snell''
law staled mathematicall)
is
nt sin 01 =
rt2 sin 02
wherc
rt =
refractire
index
of material
I
(unidess)
r:
:
rcfracrive
index
of material
2
(unitless)
gr
-
angle of incidence
(dgrees)
02 =
angle
of refraction
(degrces)
Figure
l-8 shows
how a light ray' is refracted
as it travels
from
a more
dens
'nigt'""tr'"tiiit
in"ot*'
*utt"u'-'nto
u lt" dtn"'lo*t'
refractive
index)
material
i:
tun b"
'etn
that the light ray changes
direction
ut tt'" interface'
and the angle
of re-
fractionis;;;;t;ilihtangleofincidenceconsequentlv'whenalightrayenteri:
less dense
materiat.
tt e ra.r bends
auay from
rhe normat.
ihe normal
is simply
a lir:
o'u*np"tpi'ioittiru'ioitt"in"'r"t"ui't'tpoini*tt"'"theincidentraysffikestheii'
terface
Similarll''
when a light ray enters
a more dense
matedal'
the ray bends
touar:
the normal
ExamPle
1-2
In Figure
t-8 let medium
1 be glass and medium
2 be ethyl alcohol
For an angle of incidence
of l"
detennine
the angle of refiaction'
SolLrtion
From
Tablc l-1'
flr
(glass)
:
l'5
'rr
(ethyl alcohol) =
1 36
Rearranging
Equation
I-9 xnd sub\tituring
for n' rr2' and 0t gives us
'1
r;n 6,
.-
.in 0.
,11
l'l
''n
l0 - 0 5514 -
sin O']
1.36
0r =
sin
1o55l4
=
3347'
The re'ull indi(ale'
thirt lhe lighl ray relracted
I benl I or
(hrneed direction
b) 33 47' al the intenr=
'"**"t#i;;t;;:t;;;;fi;f,;amoredensemateriallntoalessdensematenal'the):E--
a$ay t'rom the normal'
14
Chaptei
'
3
T
E
I
I
I
Normal
o
=
angle ol rafraclion
Unret rctod rry
Relracted rey
n2 loaa dons6
nl moro donso
er
=
angl6 ot
incidence
01
8t=oc
{Minimum)
lncidont ray
Eenl away Jrom normal
(mo.e ro less dense)
3:>0r
ec is lhe minimum angle that a lighl ray
canstrike ihe core/cladding interlace and
resull in an angle ol relraclion ol90'
or more (more dense lo less clense only)
$o materi-
nore dense
material. It
.ngle of re-
'a!
enters a
mpl) a line
ikes the in-
,nds
towald
Ldence of 30o,
! rhe inteface.
d. the ra!' bent
Critical angle refraction
Figure l-9 shows a condition in which an incident ray is
striking the glass/cladding interface at an angle
(r) such that the angle of refraction
(02) is
90' and the refracted ray is along the interface. This angle of incidence is called the criticql
angle
(Q,), which is defined as the minimum angle of incidence at which a light ray may
strike the interface of two media and result in an angle of refraction of 90' or greater. It is
important to note that the light ray must be traveling from a medium ofhigher refractive in-
dex to a medium with a lower refractive index (i.e.. glass into cladding). If the angle of re-
fraction is 90o or greater, the light ray is not allowed to penetrate the less dense material.
Consequently, total reflection takes place at the interface. and the angle of reflection is
equal to the angle of incidence. Critical angle can be represented mathematically by rear-
ranging Equation 1-9 as
sin 0,
:
asin
0,
' 111
With 02
-
90',0, becomes the critical angle (0.), and
sine. =
!(t):
'
Itr
sine.=A
' nt
and e. -
,in
'''
111
where 0. is the critical angle.
From Equation I -10, it can be seen that the critical angle is dependent on the ratio of
the refractive indexes of the core and cladding. For example a ratro n2/n1
:
0.77 produces
a critical angle of 50.4", whereas a rati o n2/n1 = 0.625 yields a critical angle of 38.7'.
Figure l - 10 shows a comparison of the angle of refraction and the angle of reflection
when the angle of incidence is less than or more than the critical angle.
ln pre\'i-
ous discussions, the source-to-fiber apefiure was mentioned several times. and the critical
and accoptance angles at the point where a light my strikes the core/cladding interface $ ere
explained. The following discussion addresses the light-gathering ability of a fiber. u hich
is the ability to couple tight from the source into the fiber
n2less
dense
(0,
> 01)
Angl of
relraction
.. 82
Rfractad iaY
z
(0r < 0c)
(&
=
Ocl
Re{tected
ray
(0t
> 0c|
'
90-6r
Glass
lncidnt
r6Y
(B > c)
|
---
Angte of rellsction
--.
quals 90 - 01
i -
whon
q >0c
-81
o. --
o,>oc
lncidont reY
(6r < Ocl
FIGURE
'l
'10 Angle of reflection
and
refraction
NormrlE
t{,3d
qusrE dtddlno'
n2'l'15
FIGURE
1-'11 Bay
propagation
into and down an optical
fiber cable
Figure
t - I I shows the source end of a fiber cable and a light ray propagating
into an;
then down the fiber. wtren lignt rays e-ni"rii.
"or"
ot rrr" nber, they strike
the air/glass
ir"
terface at normal
A. tt'"
'"t'utti'"
init'''oi
ui' i' uppro*i-ut"ly
l' and the refractiYe
indel
of the slass
core is t.5 Consequenrlviiit
i'gttt t"'tr,
tnt table lra\eling
from a less den-
to a m;re
dense mediu,n
tu"ing
thJ
'uy 'o
?tf'utt
to*utO
tt't normat
-This
cause\
the ligf':
ra\ s lo ehange
direction
onO p'opugute
jiagonally
down
the core at an angle
lhat is less lh;;
rhe external
angle or in.ia.n.e
,e,,r. iJ, u'rf oi tigt, ,o propacate down
the cable'
it mu':
strike the internal
core/cladding
interfii"
"i'"" ""ir.
rhar is gieater than the critical
ang.:
(0..).
Using
Figure
t- tZ and Snett
t-lai' irtun b" it'o*n
thut the maximum
angle that
er-
ternal
light rays may strike the airlgtals
inierface
and still enter the core and
propagate do$:
the fiber is
Chapter
1
souaceto_fb6r
intarfuca
no- 1
E
E
-'-
9
External
-'"
anole or
incidence
(max)
lntornel
1.
angl oL,
.r'
incidencg
'
0-
-
.,
(min)
Glasgcore
n1= 1'5
Fllsd
qu6rE
cladding
I
V"i-.i
rrr'
FIGURE 1-12 Geometnc .elat on-
ship of Equations
'1-1
1a and b
,
vi; ,/l
0,,,,. =.inr
;
(l-llul
iring into and
: air/glass
in-
iactile index
n a less dense
ruses the light
lat is less than
.able. it must
crirical angle
angle that ex-
opagate down
and
Theretbre
I l-l2a)
(1-l2b)
{l-lfcr
where 0;,,1,.,,,,1 =
acceptance angle
(degrees)
n,, =
rettactive index of air
(
I
)
rr, = retiactive index of glass fiber core
( 1.5
)
/1.
:
retiactive index of qualtz fiber cladding
(
I.46)
Since the retiactive index of air is [. Equation I - I I a reduces to
0'",",,,,,
:
sin
'il],
,,
where ein
:
acceptance angle
(degrees)
NA =
numerical aperture
(unitless)
xr = retiacliYe index of glass fiber core
(unitlessl
n.
:
refiactive index of quartz fiber cladding
(unitless)
Fiber Tnansmission Media
(l-llb)
ei,,r,.".
)
is called the .tc. eptattce an!,le or ac. e ptdnce co e l1aff:arrg1e. 01',,,..,,^, defines
the maximum angle in uhich external light rays may strike the air/glass intertace and still
propagate down the fiber Rotating the acceptance angle around the fiber core axis de-
scribes the acceptance cone ofthe fiber input. Acceptance cone is shown in Figure l-13a.
and the relationship between acceptance angle and critical angle is showI1 in Figure I - I 3b.
Note that the critical angle is defined as a minimum value and that the acceptance angle is
defined as a maximum value. Light ra)'s striking the airlglass interface at an angle greater
than the acceptance angle will enter the cladding and, therefirre. will not propagate down
the cable.
Ntonerical tqert1tre
(NA) is closely relatcd to acceptance angle and is the ligure of
merit corrulonly used to measure the magnitude of the acceptance angle
[n essence nu-
merical apefiure is used to describe the lighrgathering or light-collecting ability of an op-
tical fiber
(i.e.. the abilitl' to couple light into the cable tiom an external source) The larger
the magnitude of the numerical aperture. the greater the amount of extemal liSht the fiber
will accept. The numerical aperture for light entering the glass fiber from rn air mediut'l't is
described mathematically as
NA =
sin 0;,,
NA = \G /l.
0i.=sinrNA
1-8 OPTICAL FIBER
FIGURE 1-1 3
[a]
Acceptance ang e; [b]
acceptance
cone
A larger-dianleter core does not necessarity
produce a larger numerical aperture
'
though in
fractice
larger-cole fibers tend to have larger numerical apertures Numei--
ap..t-rr..un
b. calculnted using Equations l- i2a or b, but in practice it is generalll r-:--
sured by looking at the output of a fiber because the light guiding properties of a fibe: ---
ble are .symmetrlcal.
Thereibre. light leaves a cable and spreads out over an angle equ:
:
the acceptance angle.
CONFIGUFATIONS
Light can be plopagatecl down an optical fiber cable using either reflection or refraction H
' '
tlJ tigt t propug"t.--. tlepends on thi nrode of.proPqgation
ald the i'dex
ProJ'i1e
of the i'ib-
'1-8-1 Mode of ProPagation
In llber optics terminology, ihe word rrtorle simply means path lf there is only one
Pal--
:
-
light rays to take down a cable. it is call ed single motle lf there is more than one
path
":
i
,illerl ,irlti,,rrdr. Figure l - l4 shcws single and multimode
propagation of light ra1 s c:
':
an optical tiber. As siown in Figure l-14a, with single-mode
propagation' there is onl1 ':r
Chapter 1
18
-,1"1'
1',.<"'.,'
:-,,t-..>
luLl
Light ray
Diracl ray
Cl6dding
/
t,.
'))'--
,
r\-.-
7lr
'\.
1
Cladding
lnnor coae
Ught r.y
Higher
order
modas
FIGUBE 1'1 4 Modes of p.opagationi (al
single moder
(bl
r.ultimode
path for light rays to take. which is directly down the centel of the cable. However. as Figure
I - 1,lb shows. with multimode propagation there are ntany higher-order nrodes possible. and
light rays
propa-sate down the cable in a zigzag fashion tbllowing several paths.
The number of paths (modes) possible for a multimode t'iber cable depends on the
tiequency (wavelength) of the light signal. the refractive indexes of the core and cladding,
and the core diameter. Mathematically. the number of modes possible for a given cable can
be approximated by the lollowing lbrmuJa:
\)
I
'11'1
r, ,,. 1
\
^
-/
where N =
number of propagating modcs
.1
:
core diameter
(meten)
tr: waYelength
(meters)
ri,
=
refractive index ofcore
x. =
refiactive index of cladding
A multimode step- index fiber with a core diameter of 50 p m. a core reliacti ve inde \ ,
'i
.
^.
a cladding retiactive index of 1.584. and a vavelength ol 1300 nm has appro\rrlr-'li
..
-:
-:
possible modes.
'l-8-2 lndex Profile
The index protile of an optical fiber is a graphical rcpresentation of the r:,-::.---=
-
::e
refiactive index across the flber The refractive index is plotted on the h.'r:2.'::". ,r1..
"nJ
the radial distance fiom the core axis is plotted on the vertical rri.. Fisur: -
-
-: :h.r\\ s the
core index profiles for the three types of optical fibel cables.
There are tu'o basic types of index protiles: step and
Sr.rJeu
\
ri:''tr:,te.r
tlber has a
central core with a uniform retiactive index (i.e.. constant denritl thr..ughoutt. -\n outside
cladding that also has a uniform refractive index surround. the.crer ho\\e\er. the refiac-
tive index ofthe cladding is less than that ofthe centr.tl .or3 Friltl Figures 1-l5a and b. it
can be seen that in stcp index fibers. there is an ahrupl .'hlnge in the refrlctive index at the
core/cladding interlace. This is true firt both
.incle
',rJ
nrullimode \tep-index fibers.
(l-l-lr
aperture, al-
. \umerical
'rerally
mea-
)i a t'iber ca-
rgle equal to
i,rction. How
,,.i the fiber.
.rne path for
.rne path. it is
:ht rays down
re is only one
l:tical Fiber Transmission Media
19
Light
Lighl
End view
End view
End view
n2 Cladding
nl coro
lndex
profile
Slde view
(b)
Side view
(c)
,I-9
OPTICAL
FIBER
kt the gratled-index
fiber, shown in Figure
I-t5c' it can be see'lot
th:tt
l:---
.f"aOi"g.'"rait
. ,.fractive
index of the core is nonuniform:
it is highest in the center ot :::
;;;;;;';;r";..t
graduallv
with distance toward the outer edge. The index
profile shr'i
;;.fi;),
thrti, ,o*i,"
in the center and decreases symmetrically
with dist,':
tion the center.
CLASSIFICATIONS
pr.nxortron
modes can be categorized
as either nultimode
or single mode' and then n--
-
,'.5ii.rr'n"
i"r,n.t.uurtir
i.te-d into step index or graded index Although
there are a\\'-'
,"ril"
"i:."rrut*tions
of modes and init^"'
th"it o" unly three
practical types olo:--
cal fiber conligurations:
ri'iS1-'1lo'1e
stcP-it1de'r'
ntrltim<ttle
step iulex' and nultitl:
:'
grudetl ittle.r.
1-9-1
Single-Mode
Step-lndex
Optical
Fiber
,,,,",,,.,,,,,tui,o,r'r,,/er libers ure lhe dominrtnt
fibers useLl in tothS's telecommuntc"t'
;aT;;;:;;;i';;iro,'"i"
o
'i"gr'
mode step inclex fiber has a central core that i\ :
'
niticantly
smaller in ,lir."t"' th" un*y-oi tf" t'ftit"O"
*Ules
In tact'
the diameter
is
'
-.
ij.i."iir'r"r,,iL
,rr", there is essentialiS
onl) one prrh.rhar light,ma)
takc as ilpropag':=
a,r":r'ii"
.^oi. rrr,s type of liber is sho* n in Figur'. I I6f,. ln the simplest firrm of sin;
'
*,ra. .i.o-,"a.^
flber'. ihe outside claclding
is siirply air' The refractwe
index of the
g.'-
."r"i,,,ii"oo^*t.atelyI5.andtherefia"ctiveintlexoftheaircladding(x'])isIThe1'-:'
Chapter
1
Y,
)nlcore(varies, A
()\*
lndex
profile
FIGURE
1-15 Core index profiles:
(al single-mode
step index; {b)
multimode
step indexl
[c]
multirnode
graded index
20
n2 Chddino
,\,.r,,i
Lrghl
pulse orf
Aircl.ddlng
Acc6ptanc6,
3ng16
c
n1= 15
Cor
oc= sin-1 1/1.5
=
41.8'
lqcceptance engle
=
90_ 0c
=
48.2'
Ia)
n2
=
1.a5
Fusd
q!8t?
claddin0
engle nl -
1.5
Co16 0c
Side vi6w
0"= sin-1 nzln1
oc
=
sin-l 1,46/1.5
=
767'
Accepisnce angle - 90-0c
=
13 3'
(b)
FIGURE 1 I6 Single-mode step-index fibers:
[a]
air cladding; {bl
glass cladding
difference in the retiacrive indexes results in a small critical angle
(approximately'12') at
the gtass/air interface. Consequently, a single-mode step-index fiber has a wide extemal ac-
cep;nce angle, which makes it relatively easy to couple light into the cahle tlom an exter-
nai source. iowever, this type of fiber is very weak and difficult to splice or terminrte'
A more practical type of single-mode step-index fiber is one that has a cladding other
than air. such as the cable shown in Figure 1- 16b. The ret'ractive index ofthe claddins
r/i' i:
slightly less than that of the central core
(nr) and is uniform throughout the cladding' Thr'
tyie oicable is physically stronger than the air-clad fiber, but the critical angle is als(r nru''h
higher
lapproximately
77'). This results in a small acceptance angle and a na[o\\ iour'e-Io-
fi6er apelture, making it much more difficult to couple light into the flber liom a light ltrurc''
With botl typei of single-mode step-inrlex libers, Iight is propagated dtru n the trber
through reflection. Light rays that enter the fiber either propaglte straight
'lo$
n the core or'
perhals, are reflectedonly a few times. Consequently, all light rays tbllo\\ approximatell
ihe same path down the cable and take approximately the same amount of time lo rar el the
tength ofihe cable. This is one overwhelming a<lvantage of single-node
'step-index
fibers'
as explained in more detail in a later section of this chapter'
1-9-2 Multimode Step-lndex Opcical Fiber
\-/
Amultimodestep-inderopticalfiberisshowninFigurel.]7,\lultirrrodestep-indexfibers
are similar to the single-mode step-index fisers excePt the center core is much larger with
the multimode configuration.
This type ofliber has a lar-ee light-to-fiber afbrture and con-
sequently, allows more extemal light to enter the cable The light rays that strike the
coie/ctaidins intertace at an angle greater than the critical angle
(ray A) are propagated
down the core in a zigzag ta(rion. continuousll- reflecting off the interface boundary' Light
,.rl lhere is no
re center ofthe
r pr,.rfile shows
* ith distance
. rnd then mul-
r;re are a wide
'l
tl pes of opti-
:,i,1 ,l ltiltotle
i':rrmunications
c.rre that is sig-
iirnieter is suf-
;i it propagates
: i.rrm of single-
Jer of the glass
- i. L The iarge
l:: :al Fiber Transmission Media
5ourc6-lo-lib6r
--
FIGURE 1-'17 Multimode
stetrindex
fiber
FIGURE 1'18 Multimode
graded-index
fiben
lnpu,t
pulse
Outpul
pulse
3,
ravs that stdke the core/cladding
interface
at an angle less than the critical angle
(ray B) er-
i:ii;ffil,;;;J;;.
i;;; fi", be seen rhat there are many
paths-that a light ray m:'
i"ff"*
"t
- pr"i,rg"tes down the fiber' As a result' all light rays do not-follow
the same
par
and, consequently,
do not take the same amount
of time to travel the length of the cable'
1-9-3 Multimode
Graded-lndex
Optical
Fiber
l, irr-,r*"d"
glrl<t-ina"^
opti"at
er is strown in Figure
l - l8 Graded-index
fibers r:
characterized
by a c"ntaut
"o'"
*itf' u nonuniform
refractive
index Thus'
the cable's densi:''
ir'-"-i.r.
",
,t
"
.enter and decreases
gradualty toward the outer edge' Light rays
ProPi
-"r.i"*, ,il. ,y p. .f fiber through retraciion
ratherthan
reflection
As a light ray propagat''
il;;;;ii;;;#;tcore
towarJthe
center' it is continuallv
inte$ectins
aless dense to mot:
a"r,*',",Jri*..
a"rsequenr
ly. the ligtrt rays are consmntly
being refracted'
which resulr'
:
a continuous
bending of the figrrt rayi iig't''i"nt""
tt't iiUt' at many different
angles As rix
;;il;t;;;il;io*n
tt'"-nu"',ih"
'alvs
raveling
in the outermost
area of the fiber tra':
a greater distance
than the rays travelini
ntu' tht itnt"' Because
the refractive
index de-
creases
with distanc. f'oln tn" ttnttt u'f, the velocity
is inversely
Proportional
to refractl\
'
index, the light rays t,uu"ting
futti'"ttii;m
the centei
propagate ata higher velocity
Con-i'-
;r"*i;;;;*;*roximitelv
the same amount
of iimi to traYel the length of the fibr'
1-9-4
OPtical
Fiber ComParison
' -
i-9-,i-i Singte'mode
step-index
liber'
Advantages
include
the following:
l. Minimum
dispersion:All
rays
propagating
down the fiber take approximatel) '3
^
r"rn"
p"if,, thus, ttrey t"tt upp'o^irn-uttty
the same.length,
of dme to travel
doE:
the cable Consequentry,
u p'itt of lighientering
the cable can be reproduce'J
a
the receiving
end very accuratelY'
chapter
1
n1- 1.5
Gl6ss coro
Normal
2. Because ofthe high accuracy in reproducing transmitted pulses at the receive end,
wider bandwidths and higher information transmission rates (bps) are possible
with single-mode step-index fibers than with the other types of fibers.
Disadvantages include the following:
l. Because the central core is very small, it is difficult to couple light into and
out of this type of fiber. The source-to-fiber aperture is the smallest of all the
fiber types.
2, Again, because of the small central core, a highly directive light source, such as a
laser, is required to couple light into a single-mode step-index fiber
-3.
Single-mode step-index fibers are expensive and difficult to manufacture.
1-9-.1-2 Nlultimode step-index fiber. Advantages include the following:
1, Multimode step-index fibers are relatively inexpensive and simple to manufacture.
2. It is easier to couple light into and out of multimode step-index fibers because they
have a relatively large source-to-fiber aperture.
Disadvantages include the following:
Light rays take many different paths down the fiber. which results in large dif-
ferences in propagation times. Because of this, rays traveling down this type of
fiber have a tendency to spread out. Consequently. a pulse of light propagating
down a multimode step-index fiber is distoned more than with the other types
of fibers.
The bandwidths and rate of intbrmation transttr rates possible u ith this t) pe of
cable are less than that possible $ ith the other tl pes of ilber cables.
l-9-il.-1 Nlultimode graded-index fiber. Essentially. there are no outstandin-s ad-
vantages or disadvantages of this type of fiber Multimode graded-index fibers are easier to
couple light into and out of than single-mode step-index fibers but are more difficult than
multimode step-index fibers. Distortion due to multiple propagation paths is greater than in
single-mode step-index fibers but less than in multimode step-index fibers. This multimode
graded-index fiber is considered an intermediate fiber compared to the other fiber types.
3 LOSSES IN OPTICAL FIBER CABLES
Power loss in an optical fiber cable is probably the most important characte stic of the ca-
ble. Power loss is oftell, called attenuation and results in a reduction in the power ofthe light
wave as it travels down the cable- Attenuation has several adverse effects on performance.
including reducing the system's bandwidth, information transmission rate, efficiency, and
overall system capacity.
The standard formula for expressing the total power loss in an optical fiber cable is
(l-14)
where A(dB)
-
total reduction in power level, attenuation (unitless)
P",t = cable output power (watts)
Pin
:
cable input power (watts)
In general, multimode fibers tend to have morc attenuation than single-mode cables.
primarily because of the increased scattedng of the light wave produced from the dopants
in the glass. Table l-2 shows output power as a percentage of input power tbr an optical
1.
1
B) en-
ray may
me path
cable.
Lbers are
r density
s prcpa-
opagates
: to more
rcsults in
:s. As the
xr travel
ndex de-
'eiiactive
!. Conse-
e fiber.
,...
rately the
r el down
Jduced at
Oar,: ,0,.(f)
Fiber Transmission Media 23
,lpul
Table 1-2 % Output Power versus Loss in dB
Output Power
(7.)
Loss
(dB)
1
3
6
l0
l3
20
30
,10
50
19
50
25
12.5
t0
5
I
0.1
0.0r
0.001
Table 1 3 Fiber Cable Attenuation
Cable Type
Cladding Diameter
(Fm)
Core Diameter
Gm)
NA
(unitless)
Attenuation
(dB/km)
Single mode
Graded index
Slep index
PCS
Plastic
0.5 at 1300 n'r.
0.4 at 1300 nr
4 at 850 nm
5 at 850 nor
6 at 850 nm
6 at 850 nm
l0 at 790 nm
10 aI790 nm
400 at 650 nn
.ltn
at 650 n.l
;
0.3
0.27
0.2'l
0.3
0.3
0.5
0.5
8
5
50
100
2(X)
300
200
400
115
125
I]5
1.10
lll0
-1-10
350
550
750
1000
fiber cable with several values of decibel loss. A l-dB cable loss reduces the output
po$:-
to 507. of the input
Power.
Attenuation ol light propagating through
glass depends on wavelength The thr':
wavelength bands typically used for optical fiber communication-s
systems are centeri:
around 0.85 microns. 1.30 microns, and i.55 microns. For the kind ofglass typically used i :
optical communications
systems, the 1.3O-micron
and I 5S-micron bands
have less than 5:
lnrs per kilometer. while ihe 0.85-micron band experiences almost 207o loss per kilomete:
Although total power loss is of primary importance in an optical fiher cable' attex--
ation is gene;ally exp;essed in decibeis of loss per unit length Attenuation
is expressed
''
o porltir'-. an uiu" L.carr" by definition it is a loss Table l-3 lists attenuation in dB/ti
for several types of optical fiber cables'
The opiical
power in watts measured at a given distance from a pot!er source can :t
determined mathematicallY as
p: p,x
lO
At/ltt (l'l:-
where P
:
measured
power level
(watts)
P, =
transmitted
power level
(watts)
A
-
cable
Power
loss
(dB/km)
1
:
cable length
(km)
Likewise, the optical
power in decibel units is
P(dBm)
:
PL(dBm) A(dB)
I I'1'
where P
-
measured
power level
(dBm)
Pi,,
:
transmit
Power
(dBm)
Ai =
cable power loss. attenuation
(dB)
Chapter 1
24
Example 1-3
For a single mode optical cableT,"ith 0.2-5-dB/km loss. determine the optical po\\er 10{l km tronr .,
0.1-mW light soLrrce.
Solution Substituting into Equation I-15 gives
P = 0.lmW X l0
ltro:sxll)o)l/rlo)l
:
I X l0
lX
lo{li0r5nloo)l/ilor)
:
(l x t0
r)(t
x l0
ri)
= 0.3 t6 pW
rrion
and
/o I t6 uw\
P(dBm)
:
I0losl
urrut
J
:
35 dBm
or by substituting inlo Equation l-16
/^,
,,.\
pidB,n
rurop(
::^::,)-
(r0uL,nr(0.25J8 k,n)
'\u 0ul w/
:
10 dBm 25 dB
:
15 dBm
Transmission losses in optical fibcr cables are one of the most important characteristics of
the fibers. Losses in the tiber result in a reduction in the light power. thus reducing the sys-
tem bandwidth, intbrmation transmission rate. etTiciency. and overall system capacity. The
predominant losses in optical fiber cables are the fbllou,ing:
Absorption loss
Matedal. or Rayleigh. scattering losses
Chromal ic. or u arelength. dirperrion
Radiation losses
Modal dispersion
Coupling losses
1-10-1 Absorption Losses
Absorption losses in optical fibers is analogous to power dissipation in copper cables: im-
purities in the fiber absorb the light and convert it to heat. The ultrapure glass used to man-
ufacture optical fibers is approximately 99.9999./c pure. Sti11. absorption losses between I
dB/km and 1000 dB/km are typical. Essentially. there are three lacrols rhar contribure ro the
absorption Iosses in opticai fibers: ultrutiolet absorptictrt, itfrured obsorption. and iou res-
otl(u1ce Lbsorptiorl.
l-10-l-l I ltra\ iolet absorpl ion. Ultraviolet absorption iscausedby valenceelec-
trons in the silica material fiom which fibers are manufactured. Light ionizes the !alence
electrons into conduction. The ionization is equivaient to a loss in the total light Iield and.
consequently. contributes Io the transmission losses of the fiber.
l-l(l-l-2 Inli'arcd bsorption. Infiared absor?tion is a result of photons of lighr
that are absorbed by the atoms of the glass core molccules. The absorbed photons are con-
verted to random mechanical vibrations typical of heating.
l-10-l--1 lon rcs(,nance absorption. Ion resonance absorption is cau\ed b\
(lH
ions in the material. The source ol the OH ions is water moleculesthat hare t,e.|::r::.-
in the glass during the manufacturing process. Iron. copper. and chromiurr n',rl:..- :.
-
.
cause ion absor?tion.
am
im
I po\!'er
re three
:entered
used fbr
than 57c
fmetet
. attenu-
e.sed as
r dB/tm
e can be
I-l-i)
Ll-l6l
l::Lcal Fiben Transmission Media
l-
Total loss {including
Rayleigh scaltering
loss)
FIGURE
1-1s Absorpton
losses
in oPtical
fiberc
Figure
I-19 shous
typical losses
in optical fiber cables
due to ultraviolet'
infrare:
and ion resonance
absorPtion'
1-'l O-2 Material.
or Rayleigh'
ScaEtering
Losses
During manutacturing.
glass is ilrau ni-nto
tong ii-Ot''t nl t t'y
smull diameter'
During
th:'
Drocess.
the
glass is in a plastic
""t;
i;;i
l;'; and not solid) The tension
applied
to Ih'
l"::.;r;.i;..,rling
slas''o
'rt"i'I
ft''*..ntnr:'ubmicrr'scopic
imePularities
\\h''
ii"ht rry'
pruprc,,tini:
Jou n a iiut'
'i"1"'""
"f 'tese
impuritie'
the1 are diffracted
D:
traction causes
the light to ai'pt"t'tlt''p'"ult
ottt in manl directions
Some of the drl-
i;::i";
t,.;;, :";;i;u.'t
an*n
'n'
riu"' uia
""
'r[
it escrpes
rhr"uPh
rhe chddins
T:'
Iiphr ravs that escape
represent
a loss in light
power' This is called'Rrnleig&
scdtteltr''
i::]: i:'!#
iil;;fii;
;;*'
;"
'"i"tron'r'ip
between
waverength
and Ravreig:
scattering
loss.
1-1 O'3
Chromatic
or Wavelength
Dispersion
Lisht-emitting
diodes
(LEDs) t'tit flgl'; ton'utni'g
mrny
u rr elengths.
Each wavelensi
;il" il;;,.,*
light
signal
""t'"'' "
t' differ-enr
relocity
when propagating
throu!-
itr..
C""t"o'J*'r'
tigit tul'! tlut
"'" 'imultaneously
emitted
from an LED and
propagir'-
dot'n an optical
fibe, ao not ott'"t ]iit't
iar ena ot tlre tluer at the sam time' resulting
in
':
irrpairment
called c,l 1r('llatic
t!istor;io;t $ometimes
called Itnl elength
dispe rsion\' Chronr::: '
distonion
can be elimln"t.a
ty u$ng
"
;onochromatic
light source such as an iniection
lu''-
dioile
(tLD). Chrom,ltit
alttnnion
tiit"t
only in fib""
*ith o single mode of transmissio:
'l -1 O-4 Radiation
Losses
Ratliation
losses
are caused
mainly by srnull
bends and t'inks in the fiber' Essentially
tb;::
"*
,*(, ,yp",
"f
*nds: microbeni'
und con'tant-radiu*
bend.s Mierrbendirg
occurs
;' -
result of differences
in tt't tnt'trl"it-i'ottinn
'"tt'
b"t*etn
the core and the cladrlingr- --
terial. A microbend
i,
"rniniorrr.
r.nJ or
geometric imperltction
along the axis ofthe
tr:E-
and represents
a discontinuity
i;-tht
-fi;t
where
Rayleigh
scattedng
can occur'
\:
crobentling
losses
generally
t*"ib""
1t"' tt'on ZotZ' of tttt tot"l attenuation
in a tir'-
Chapter
1
26
.Ga
1.1
1-2
!red
orption
;nfrared.
iring this
iiJ ro the
er When
ited. Dif-
r the dif-
1ing. The
Ldleritlg
Rry leigh
r\ elength
r through
ropagated
Lring in an
:hromatic
itron laser
.mission.
L.r1l1. there
{aurs as a
,jding ma-
ri the fiber
.-'iur.
Mi-
rn a fiber.
Solution B:
0.3 km
2 GHz
1_1 1.2
FIGURE 1'20 Rayleigh scatterng oss as a functon of wavelength
Constqnt-ftttliLts bends are caused by excessit e pressure and lension and generally occur
when fibers are bent during handling or installation.
1-'l O-5 Modal Dispension
Modal dispersion
(sometimes
called prlse spreudirtg) is caused by the dillerence in the
propagation times of light mys that take diflerent paths down a fiber Obviously. rrodal dis-
persion can occur only in multimode tibers. It can be reduced considerably by using graded-
index fibers and almost entirely eliminated by using single-mode step-index fibers.
Modal dispersion can cause a pulse of light energy to sprcad out in tinle l\ it propa-
gates down a fiber. Ifthe pulse spreading is sufficiently severe. one pulse may interfere with
another. In multimode step index fibers. a light Iay propagating straiSht down tlle axis of
the fiber takes the least amount of time to travel the length of the fiber A light ray that strikes
the core/cladding interfhce at the critical angle will undergo the largest number of internal
reflections iLnd, consequently. take the longest time to travel the length of the cable.
For multimode propagation. dispersion is often expressed as a bautlvitlth lettqrlt
product (BLP) or bantlvtidth tlisttrrtce pxttluct
(BDP).
BLP indicates what signal tiequen-
cies can be propagated through a given distance of fiber cable and is expressed nrathenlil'
ically as the product of distnnce and bandwidth
(sometimes
called lirtcrlirlr/i). Band* iitl:
length products are often expressed in MHz
-
km units. As the le[gth of an oPtirrl .;h :
increases. the bandwidth
(and thus the bit rate) decreases in proportion.
Example 1-4
For a 300-meter optical tiber cable with a B LP of 6(X) N'lHl km. determire the b.::i-
-:
600 MHz km
Figure l-21 shows three light rays propagating do\\ n a ntul;i;lrce il3r'-ini.\ lrpti.al
fiber The lowest-order mode
(ray l) travels in a palh parallel l,r lh. -:\:i
.': ihe tlber. The
middle-order mode
(ray 2) bounces several times at the interf3.3 rel,rre Ir3\ elinr lhe lensIh
27
-
:: :
=
Fiber Transmission Media
Cladding
Core
Ligh! i.put raYs
<
t-
I
Ray 2
1
Ray 3
FIGUBE 1 2'1 Light propagation down a multlmode steprndex fiber
Light inPut raYs
Ray 1
FIGURE 1-22 Light propagation down a single-mode step-index fber
Light outplt ray3
Lioht oulput .!y5
FIGUBE l -23 Light propagat on down a .nultimode gnaded index fiber
of the tiber. The highest-orcler mode
(ray 3) makes many trips back and forth acro\\
"
'
fiber as it propagatei the entite length. It can be seen that ray 3 travels a considerably
Ion;=-
dirtun.. thuniu! I over the length of the cable. Consequently.
if the three rays of ligh
t :::
emitted into the fiber at the same time, each ray would reach the lar end at a different tin::
resulting in a spreading out of the light energy with respect to time This is called mct-
riispersilon and iesults in a stretched
pulse that is also reduced in amplitude at the outpui
-
the fiber
Figure l-22 shows light rays propagating down a single-mode step-index cable B'
cause th; radial dimension of the 6ber is sufficiently small. there is only a single tran:n-.:
--
sion path that all rays must follow as they propagate down the length of the fiber' Con':-
qr"rity. .o.i, ,uy oi light tavels the same distance in a given period of time' and m';-
dispersion is virtually eliminated
Figure 1-23 shows light propagating down a multimode
graded-index fiber' Th::'
ray. are-sho*, rraveling in three dilferent modes Although the three rays travel dir:':
.rt prthr. they all take approximately
the same amount of time to.propagate the 1en5
-
of the flber. This is because the ret'ractive index decreases with distance from the
":-
ter, and the velocity at which a ray travels is inversely
proportional to the refractir e :
-
Chapter 1
Lighl ouiput raYS
12
->
1
1
2
3
'z
J!-Ioss the
Lbil longer
ljght $'ere
erent time.
lled modal
e output of
cable. Be-
e rransmis-
rer. Conse-
rnd modal
rber. Three
rr ei differ-
rhe Iength
'm
the cen-
iractive in-
I

a
e
I
FIGURE 1 24 Pulse-width dispersion in an optical frben cable
dex. Consequently, the farther rays 2 and 3 travel from the center ol lhe crble. the irrter
they propagate.
Figure 1-24 shows the relative time/energy relationship ofa pulse oi lisht i. it prop-
agates down an optical fiber cable. From the figure, it can be seen that as the
Pul:r
propa-
gates down the cable, the light ruys that make up the pulse spread out in tinte. c.ru.rn,: .r cor
responding reduction in the pulse amplitude and stretching of the pulse \\ idth. Thi. i. isiled
pulse spreadirg or pulse-w'idth dispersicttr and causes erors in digital transnli\\i!rn. It.an
also be seen that as light energy from one pulse falls back in tine, it will intertere \\ ith lhe
next pulse, causing intersymbol interference.
Figure 1-25a shows a unipolar return-to-zero
(UPRZ)
digital transn1ii.i.rn. \\'ith
UPRZ transmission
(assuming a very narrow pulse), if light energy tiom pul\e .\ \\ er. llr lall
back
(.rpread) one bit time (1,), it would interfere with pulse B and change lr hat r\ ii\ x lLrgic
0 to a logic l. Figure 1-25b shows a unipolar nonretum-to zero
(UPNRZ
) digital trin.mis-
sion where each pulse is equal to the bit time. With UPNRZ transmission. if eners) tiom
pulse A were to fall back one-halfofa bit time, it would intert'ere $ ith pulse B. Con\equentl).
UPRZ transmissions can tolerate twice as much delay or spread as UP\RZ rrln!mi:iion\.
The difference between the absolute delay times of the fastest and \lrr$ erl ra) \ of Iight
propagating down a fiber of unit lelgth is c alled the pulse-spreudirt.q crritrtortl i J ttand is gener-
ally expressed in nanoseconds per kilometer
(ns&m). The total pulre spread r Jft is then equal
to the pulse-spreading constant
(A0 times the total fiber length
(a
r. \lathemrticall)'. .\f is
AIrn,)
-
Ar(../L-) x2,k,,,, {l-17)
For UPRZ transmissions, the maximum data transmission rate in bits per second
(bps) is expressed as
I
.UXL
(l-ltl)
29 ::
::a-
Transmission Media
l:
L
c
Logic 1
I
I
Sample
tim6
Logic 1
I
I
Sample
time
{b}
FIGURE
'l-25 Pulse spreading
of digital transmissions: [a]
UPFIZ;
(b)
UPNFTZ
and for UPNRZ transmissions'
the maximum
transmission
rate is
I
{
=-
,rbp'r
2Lt I L
Example
1-5
For an optical fiber lO km long with a pulse-spreading
constant
of 5 ns/lm' detrmine
the maximu:
digital transmission
rates for
a. Return_to_zero.
b. Nonretum-to-zero
transmissions'
Solution
a. Substituting
into Equation
l-18 yields
'=
-v*-
, l0*
= 20 Mbps
b. Substituting
into Equation
l-19 yields
=
l0 Mbos
Jn -
(2
,5ns/km) , l0km
Theresultsindicatethatthedigitaltransmissionlatepossibleforthisopticalfiberistwiceashigh
ft4ip, ,"..r, 10 Mbps) for UPRZ as for IIPNRZ transmission'
(
l-1"
sp.rad I
tbl2
I
chapter
1
tb
Logic 1
t
Sample
me
srmph
timo
Sproad
t
30
Out
I
Axial
displacemnt
{d)
FIGURE 1-26 Fiber alignment impainments:
[a]
lateral
misalignment;
Ibl
gap displacement; [c]
angular misalign-
ment:
[d]
surface finish
1-1O-6 Coupling Losses
Coupling losses are caused by imperfect physical connections. In fiber cables, coupling
losses can occur at any of the following three types of optical
junctions:
light source-to-fiber
connections, fiber-to-fiber connections, and fiber-to-photodetector connections. Junction
losses ale most often caused by one of the following alignment problems: lateral misalign-
ment, gap misalignment, angular misalignment, and impefect surface finishes.
l-I0-6-l Lateral displacement. l,oteral displacement (misaLiSnment) is shown in
Figure l-26a and is the lateral or axial displacement between two pieces of adjoining fiber
cables. The amount of loss can be from a couple tenths ofa decibel to several decibels. Thi:
loss is generally negligible if the hber axes are aligned to within 5% of the smaller fiber'r
diameter.
l-lU6-2 Gap displacement
(misalignment),
Gap displucemetlt
(tllisaliqtt :a-tl! | t'
shown in Figure l-26b and is sometimes called end separation. When splices are n'lrdi ::
(c)
(
l-19)
: maxlmum
e as high
(20
\.-Ll
*l L\*
- -:
:. Fiber Transmission Media
6ap
displec6ment
(b)
optical fibers, the fibers should actually touch. The farther apart the fibers, the greater the
loss of light. tf two fibers are
joined
with a connector, the ends should not touch because
the two ends rubbing agaiost each other in the connector could cause damage to either or
both fibers.
l-l()-(l--1 Angular displacement
(rnisalignmcnt
). Angular displacement (mis-
alignment) is shown in Figure 1-26c and is sometimes called angrlar dispLacement. lf the
angular displacement is less than 2', the loss will typically be less than 0.5 dB.
l- 10-6-.1 Iurperfect surface finish. Imperfect surface
Jinisl
is shown in Figure 1-
26d. The ends of the two adjoining fibers should be highly polished and fit together
squarely. If the fiber ends are less than 3' off from perpendicular, the losses will typicall)
be less than 0.5 dB.
1.11 LIGHT SOURCES
The range of light frequencies detectable by the human eye occupies a very narow segment
of the total electrcmagnetic trequency spectrum. For example, blue light occupies the
higher frequencies (shofier wayelengths) ofvisible light, and red hues occupy the lower fre-
quencies (longer wavelengths). Figure 1-27 shows the light wavelength disribution pro-
duced from a tungsten lamp and the range of wavelengths perceivable by the human eye.
As the tlgure shows, the human eye can detect only those lightwaves between approri-
mately 380 nm and 780 nm. Funhermore, light consists of many shades of colors that are
directly related to the heat of the energy being radiated. Figure 1-27 also shows that more
visible light is produced as the temperature of the lamp is increased.
Light sources used for optical tiber systems must be at wavelengths effiaiently prop-
agated by the optical fiber. In addition, the range ofwavelengths must be considered because
the wider the runge, the more likely the chance that chromatic dispersion will occur. Light
Ultraviolel
wavelengths
lnfrared
wavelengths
8 nn
I0.6
o
.N
z
-
GaAs
Blue
Orange
2500"k
2000"k
'Tungsten
lamp
radiation spectrums
tor different
temperatures
600 800 1000 1200 1400
Wavelength (nanomelers)
FIGURE 1 27 Tungsten lamp radiation and human eye response
Chapter 1
q
reater the
r because
either or
rnt (mis-
.rrr. If the
Figure l-
rogether
l\ pically
regment
upies the
!r$ er fre-
rtion pro-
mtn eye.
approxi-
'!
that are
Ihat more
nl!'prop-
I because
rur. Light
sources must also produce sutficient powel to allow the light to propagate through the iib.r
without causing distortion in the cable itself or in the receiver. Lastly. light sources nlu:t be
constructed so that their outputs can be efticiently coupled into and out of the optical cabie.
.,1
2 OPTICAL SOURCES
There are essentially only tuo types of prrctical light sources used to generate light fbr op-
tical flber communications systems: LEDs and ILDs. Both devices are constructed fiont
seniconductor materials and have irdr.antrges and disadvantages. Standard LEDS have
spectral widths of 30 nm to 50 nm. while injection )asers har,e spectral u,idths of only I nrr
to 3 nm
(
I nm correspords to a h'equency of about 178 GHz). Therefore. a 1320 nm light
source with a spectral linewidth of 0.0056 nn has a fiequency bandwidth of approximately-
I GHz. Linewidth is the wavelength equivalent of bandu'idth.
Selection of one light-cmitting device over the other is determined by system eco-
nomic and performance requirements. The higher cost of laser diodes is ottict by higher'
performance. LEDs typically have a lower cost and a corresponding lou,er pefotnrlnce.
However. LEDs are typically more reliable.
1-12-1 LEDs
An LED is apajunction diode. usuall),made tiom r semiconduck)r matc alsuchas aluminuur-
gallium-arsenide (AJGaAs) or gallium-arsenide phosphide
(Ca"AsP).
LEDs emit light by spon-
taneous emission light is emitted as a result ofthe recoDlbination ofelectrons and holes.
When tbrward biased. minority carriers are injected acloss the
1,
ii
junction.
Once
across the
junction.
these minority carrierc recombine u,ith nrajoritv curiers and gire up
energy in the form of light. This process is essentially the same as in a conventional scmi-
conductor diode except that in LEDS certain semiconductor materials and dopants are cho-
sen such that the process is radiative; that is. a photon is produced. A photon is a quantunr
of electromagnetic $ave energy. Photons are palticles that travel at the speed of light but at
rest have no mass. In conventional semiconduct(rr diodes
(gernraniurl
and silicon. for ex-
ampie). the process is prirnarily nonradiative. and no photons are generated. The energy gap
ol the material used to construct an LED determines the color ol light it enrits and whether
the light emitted by it is visible to the human eye.
To produce LEDs. semiconductors are folmed tr-om materials $,ith aknns ha\ in-! ei-
ther three or five valence electrons
(known as Group III and Group IV atonrs. respecli\ el).
because of their Iocation in the periodic table of elements). To produce light u'avelength.
in the 800-nm range, LEDs are constructed fronr Group III atoms. such as gallium
(Grr
rn.l
aluminum
(Al).
and a Group IV abm. such as arsenide
(As).
The
junction ti)nlrcd i' .ollr-
mon11, abbreviated GaAlAs fbr gal)ium-aluminum-arscnide. For longer $ a|elength.. g.rl-
lium is combined with the Group Ill atom indium
([n).
and arsenicle is conbineJ
rr ith the
Group V atorn phosphate (P). \rhich tbrms a gallium-indium-arsenide-phosph!te Guln {:P,
junction.
Table 1,4 lists some ol the cornmon semiconductol mateliiiis uieu ::-. LED crrn
struction and their respective output wavelengths.
Table
'l-4
Semiconductor Material Wave eno:_:
j
amp
speckums
)rl
uTes
Wa\ eleDgrh lnm,
AlCalnP
GalnP
GaAIA{
CLrAs
InCaA.
InG.tA\P
InGxA.Sh l_
r,
i1((r
Fiber Transmission Media
Emitted
light
raYs
p-ePitaxial
n-ePitaxisl
substrate
Diffu3od P
rogion
n subatttto
(a)
FIGUBE
1-24
Homolunction
LED structuresi
[a]
silicon-doped
gallium arcenide:
Ib] Planar
drftLrsed
1) 1-1 2-2
Homoiunction
LEDS
/pe\
or ctom.
is called
a h''
\
'"
i,; ;
u:r.u:;
;'lt
ironr
t\\ o dilferenr
mirture'
ol the
sam: t,.,ion
rnd .pito*iirlly
gro* r"
rnoiuncri"n
'rru(rure
'r
he
simplesr
t:".':*,'"''T:'.'::':;T:i['jj"
:ffi in rigu"
I':'
ur ih.t
,,r..ingle
.liftuse,l
semrconqu(tur
"
-.on-doped
gallium-arsenldi
;,;Xr.lti; s,-i';'
LEDs
rre
generall)
(on\truct*'
ol'
:lll'on""'tion is 940
nm' an'
"d*di
:ili ; irpical
* a. etJngttr.ur
l*::l':[il:I' :il'JIii
r.*"'i.,"*,
t
*'
ullPicul
t'utpulpo*eri'uoDrortmllcly-rrr!r
:ful lighr
for an optical.fibet
u'rre: liom
ho'nlunt""n 'ou"e:
do,not-pr()duce
3"t"::,'#i'
:t;;;r
oi tt't torot
tigr'"
Light
is emined
in all directiLrns
equlll):
trrErcru'!
"'''''
;
'ectdcity converted
to light
i'
l;;lH
il.'#l:;
j::'::::':";f;
llll;Ii"]ii"
",""rapproximare,v 500
p \\
":
lLtnltt.
,lifrit\t
J hoioiunction
LuD'
r l-i!ure
l-]Rb)out
uncrion
LED.
is rhe nun,l-
rr.rarelenBrh,,[qor)nm.Tieprimurydi'udrantugeo'
n]'lr;.not..
as a lighr
'ource
t :
recli')nrlil\
ol lheir
liy'hl
emi"ion'
$hich
mlke'
thenr
I pttt
oPtical
fiber sYstems'
r,, 1.1"1?,".li"lil?il",T1:5:i'- ll,:1i^:T:..;iil::::::,li:::'jl,:i':l'.J:1..
,t.,m.
rnd
un l-llpe.emiconduclor
nrrtErr
.rvi"
" -'
enhanced.
This
produ.e'
'
],;'i;,;;;,u.u,ri5
,ou,.uch
thar
rhc cuncenl:1j::Tl-T',i:'i;;r,'',o",
,u.t
',",,rr.,
:,::x"'ffi
r,l'illJHl'TlXii'I'il':
:; ;'J";;'"
:fi:T."il'::',l
;X1J:::
sundutched
betucen
nrctrl
contuct'
thrt
cre u\L'J
lo connect
electricitv
heterojunction
<levices
light
is emitted
n.,-ly.:t?Tl;[',Hl!il
lli;t:
,rr"r.t"r"'"t,""
.rir e,J ectge
anritters.
A
plunttr
he.rerojun:]il:,I;t;;;'J;"h
rhar rhe l(.:'
similartrrtheepit.rriJll\gruunLEDe\Ceptlhatthe.get)melry.l.
*,,i:u,,.",,.
."n.:
,l::::ii:ili:'il;:Jl;l
::l:il;:::11v,'rlo,nolun.'ion,r.,i...
Heteroiunetton
der'tc
Theincleaseincunentdensitygeneratesamorebrillianrlightspot.
The smaller
emitrina'"ra"'*"j*
,, *rter
to couple
its,emitted
light
into a fiber'
The srr.rall
*ntti'"1L'i"'
"
't'u"'
*'**"te'
which allows
the
planar
heter;-
,"tti""
lf'
to ot used at higher
speeds'
Figure
l-30
shows
the tvpical
electrical
charruterist:::j[:JX#ll'?iifltl:i'
.ri',il:u-at
ii g;rr-e l -lt tu'h"r''
the ourPUl
po\\ er \ ersu\r(
ure. ir can be ..", ,nu,
,nlt'ir','jrio"*i,ld*i
,t*rly
over
a vide range
of input
cun'
Chapter
1
--
34
n-typ GaAs
n'type AlG6As
p'typ AlGaAs
p-type AlGaAs
n-type GaAs
p-type GaAs
rlled a ho-
11l1 grown,
gure 1-28.
r-arsenide
10 nm. and
rent. Light
,tical
fiber.
rotal light
i ro light is
500
UW
at
the nondi-
.ource for
Lrne St Of
-,n devices
r produces
;h smaller
rl and then
I iource of
ial and are
19 ) is quite
hat the for-
r devices:
I tlber.
nar hetero-
rared light-
trm the fig-
put current
FIGURE "I-29 Planar heterojunction
LED
(0.5
mW
[-3
dBnl] at 20 mA ro 3..+ mW
J,5.3
dBml at 1.10 nA). Figur.e l-30b shows out
put power versus tcmperature. It can be seen that the output power varies inversely with
temperature between a temperature range ol
-40'C
to 80"C. Figure l-30c shows relative
output power in respect to output wavelength. For this parlicular example. the nraximum
output power is achieved at an output wavelength of 825 nm.
1-1 2-4 Burnus Etched-Well Surface-Emitting LED
For the mole practical applications, such as telecommunications. data rates in excess of 100
Mbps are required. For these applications. the etched-$ell LED was developed. Burrus and
Dawson of Bell Laboratories developed rhe erched-well LED. It is a surface-cmitting LED
and is shown in Figure 1-3 I . The Burrus etched-well LED emits li_sht in manv directions.
The etched well hclps concentrate the emined light to a very small area. AIso. do[ned lenses
can be placed over the emitting surtace to direct the light into a smaller area. These devices
are more elficient than the standard surface emitters. and they allow ntore power to be cou-
pled into the optical fiber. but the) are also more dilllcult and expensive to manut'acture.
1-1 2-5 Edge-Emitting LED
The edge-emitting LED. u,hich was developed by RCA, is shown in Figure I 32. These
LEDs emit a more directional light pattern thtn do the surthce-emitting LEDs. The con
struction is similar to the planar and Burrus diodes exccpt that the emitting surface is ii
stripe rather than a confined circular area. The light is emitted tiont an active stripe and
forms an elliptical beam. Surtace-emitting LEDs are more commonly used than edge emir-
ters because they emit more light. Horvever. the coupling losses with surface emifter\ are
greater. and they have narrower bandwidths.
The rridiratr light power emitted from an LED is a linear function of the ti)r$ lr.J .ur-
rent passing through the device (Figure
1-33). It can also be seen that the opri.xl .urplrr
power of an LED is. in pan, a function
()f
the operatin-g temperaturc.
1-'l 2-6 tLD
Lasets are constructed fiom many ditferent materials. inclutling nl.e.. liquijr. rnd.rolids.
although the type of laser used most often for fiber-optic conltrLrnr..rtr,rn. r. rhe semicon-
ductor laser.
The ILD is similar to the LED. ln fact. belo$ a cerrain lhre.hilJ .urenl. an ILD acts
similarly to an LED. Above the threshold cu[eDt. ln ILD o..il].1r..r la.ing occurs. As cur-
rent passes through a forward-biased
2-a
junclion
drodi. li_!hi i. emified bl spontaneous
emission at a ftequency determined by rhe r-nersi g,rp ..i rhe
.enrironductor
nraterial. When
a particular curent level is reached. the nurlber Lri x]inoritr carriers and photons produced
on either side of the p-n junction
reache: a ler ei u here rher besin ro collide with already
excited minority carriers. This cau\es ar1 inarea\e in rhe ionizarion energy level and nrakes
the carriers unstable. When this happens. a r\ pical !-arrier recombines with an opposite type
::
;
ber Transmission Media
3
E
B
a
o
o
3.0
2.5
2.0
1.0
0.5
0.0
40 60 80 100 120
Forward current
(mA)
(a)
160 140
()
6
;
o
;
,z
-q
a
1.2
1.1
1.0
0.9
0.8
-60
-40
-20
60 B0 100
02040
Temperalure. C
(b)
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
o.2
0
_\_
700 750 800
850 900
Wavelength
(nm)
(c)
FIGURE 1-30 Typical LED electrcal cha.acieristics: [a]
output
power-versusjorward
currenu Ib)
outpl]t power-versus-temperatLlrel
and [c]
output
power-versus-output wavelength
/t
Emittod liott r.y! Crnitted light r3ys
I \
n 6aAs
(3ubstrd6)
n AlGaA6
(window)
p AlGaAs {active)
p AlGaAs {confinement)
p AlGaAs lconllcl)
si02
FIGURE
'l-31
Burrus etched-well surface-emitting LED
sio2
p GaAs
(ontact)
p
AlG.&
(confinem.nt)
n AlGaAs {aciiv6l
n AlGsAs
n GaAa
(!!baiBte)
M6t.l
FIGURE 1-32 Edge-emitting LED
40 50 60 70 80 90 100 120
lnpot drive curr6nt
(mA)
FIGURE 1-33 Output power versus iorward curnent and operating temperature for an LED
of carrier at an energy level that is above its normal before-collision value. In the process.
two photons are created: one is stimulated by another. Essentially, a gain in the number of
photons is realized. For this to happen, a large forward current that can provide man) car-
riers (holes and electrons) is required.
The construction of an ILD is similar to that of an LED (Figure l-34) except that the
ends are highly polished. The mirrorlike ends trap the photons in the acti\ e re-sion rnd. ..
they reflect back and forth, stimulate free electrons to recombine with holer at .r hr:::.'
than-normal energy level. This process is called lasing.
?,0
i.^
3*
3zo
i
o
10
Metal
Light cone
0.c
Fiber Transmission Media
-
i
L
!-.
FIGUBE 1-34 lniection laser diode construction
o o
Ir
I
1
l
c
p
'6
i
t
Thre3hold
80 1oo 120 110 160 180
Drive current {mA)
FIGURE 1-35 Output
power versus forward current and
temPerature
for an ILD
The radiant output light power of a typical ILD is shown in Figure l-35 It :!I
be seen that very tittle outfut power is realized until the threshold curent is reach::
then lasing occurs. After iasing begins, the optical output power increases dram--
cally, with small increases in diive current' It can also be seen that the magnitud'
:r
the optical output power of the ILD is more dependent
on operating temperature
I---d
is the LED.
Figure l-36 shows the light radiation
patterns typical ofan I-ED and an ILD' Bec:-s
light is r-a<liated out the end oian ILD in a narow concentated
beam' it has a more dr=
radiation
Pattern.
1-:[
ILDS have several advantages over LEDs and some disadvantages
Advantage!
:-
clude the following:
ILDs emit coherent
(orderly) light, whereas LEDs emit incoherent
(disorderll t i:;:'
Therefore. ILDS have u Inor" Ji.""t radian pattern' making it easier to couple
-:l
emitted by the ILD into an optical fiber cable This reduces the couPling losses ifl
allows smaller fibers to be used.
Chapter 1
FIGUBE 1-36 LED and ILD mdiation patterns
The radiant output
power from an ILD is greater than that for an LED A typical oul
put power for a; ILD is 5 mW
(7 dBm) and only 0 5 mW (-3 dBm) for LEDs This
allows ILDs to proYide a higher drive power and to be used for systems that operate
over longer distances'
ILDS can be used at higher bit rates than LEDS'
ILDs generate monochromatic light, which reduces chromatic or wavelength dispersion'
Disadvantages
include the following:
ILDs are typically 10 times more expensive than LEDs'
Because ILDs opemte at highel
powers, they typically have a much shorter lifetime
than LEDS.
ILDs are more temperature
dependent than LEDs'
3 LIGHT DETECTORS
Therearetwodevicescommonlyusedtodetectlightenergyinfiber-opticcomrnunicatit)n\
receivers: PIN diodes and APDs'
'e
I -35. It can
rnt is reached;
:ases dramati-
magnitude
of
rperature than
r ILD. Because
s a more direct
Adr antages
in-
i:orderly)
light.
ro couple light
rling losses and
1-13-1 PIN Diodes
A PIN diode is a depletion-la-ter
phototllode and is probably the most common der ice u'ed
as a light detector in fiber-optic communications
systems Figure l-37 shows the basjc c''':-
struction ofa PIN diode. A very tightly doped
(almost pure or intrinsic) layer of ri-t) pe \en::-
conductor material is sandwiched between the
junction of the two heavily doped rr- anJ
--
type contact areas, Light enten the device through a very small window and flllr
"i
:::
car:rier-voidintrinsicmaterial.Theintrinsicmaterialismadethickenough.orhrrnl.r'l::-:
photons that enter the device are absorbed by this layer' Essentially' the PIN phrtrrcl'r: I :
-
eratesjusttheoppositeofanLED.Mostofthephotonsareabsorbedb'"-electr"r':':.-::
lence band ofthe intrinsic material. When the photons ari: absorbed ther u'id
'----':':::
-
ergy to generarc cariels in the depletion region and allow current to flo\\ thrt'u::: ::: i:
''
l-1.1-l-l Photoelectric effect. Light entering through the s ind"
r :
'
PI\ ::
'::
isabsorbedbytheintrinsicmaterialandaddsenoughenergytocru'e";:::::':::":
from the valence band into the conduction band. The increase ln th' :r-::'=r : : :'::
-'
that move into the conduction band is matched by an increase in the iu:--t: : : .:' r-' ::''
l:::: Fiber Transmission Media
39
:
I
t
\
Depltion zone
Photon Edds sutficient
energy to ,llow e,oclron
to moveLom vslsnce band
to conduction b6nd
FIGUBE 1-37 PIN photodiode construction
valence band. To cause current to flow in a photodiode, light of sufficient energy musl :'.
absorbed to give valence electrons enough ener8y to
jump the energy gap. The energl
-s-:
forsiliconisI.12eV(electronvolts)
Mathcmatically, the operation is as follows:
For silicon. the energy gap (E
)
equals 1.12 eV:
I eV: 1.6 x l0
reJ
Thus, the energy gap for silicon is
xl0
le
I .792 X l0-
re
J
and
energy
(E)
=
if
where ft =
Planck'sconstant= 6.6256x 10
IJ/Hz
/:
frequency
(henz)
Rearranging and solving tbr/ yields
For a silicon photodiode.
I.792 x l0
rq
J
=
2.705 x lou Hz
6.6256
x l0
!
J/Hz
Converting to wavelength
Yields
3 x 108 m/s
=
1 t09 nm/cycle
2.705 x 10r1Hz
1-1 3-2 APDs
Figure l-38 shows the basic construction of an APD. An APD is a pipn structure. Ligh: ::-
ters the diode and is absorbed by the thin. heavily doped nJayer. A high electric fie : :'
tensity developed across the i-p-,l
junction by reverse bias causes impact ionization li
'
cur During impact ionization, a carrier can gain sufficient energy to ionize other t\r
-'
electrons. These ionized carriers, in turn, cause more ionizations to occur. The proces!
- ':'
tinues as in an avalanche and is. effectively. equivalent to an internal gain or carrier r-
----
plication. Consequently. APDs are more sensitive than PIN diodes and require les'
":c-
iional amplification. The disadvantages of APDs are relatively long transit time' -:;
arlditional internally generated noise due to the avalanche multiplication factor'
Chapter 1
J\
r,: (r.rzev)(r.o
f=i
,('
I
r l.l
i
1
l
l
i
p p
'g]
must be
energy gap
(
1.20)
(l-21)
rre. Light en-
.rric field in-
izltion to oc-
,
other bound
r
Process
con
carrier multi
rire less addi-
.it
timcs and
:ir.
3
3
0."
:t
3
0.1
Absoption and
deplation zone
FIGURE l
-39
Avalanche photo-diode
construction
1-13-3 Characteristics of Light Detectors
The most important characteristics of light detectors are the following:
l- Responsivi1'. A measure of the conversion efficiency of a photodetector It is the
ratio of the output current of a photodiode to the input optical power and has the
unit of amperes per watt. Responsivity is generally given for a pa icular wave-
length or frequency.
2. Dark current. The leakage curent that flows through a photodiode with no light
input. Thermally generated carriers in the diode cause dark current.
3. Transit time. The time it takes a light-induced carrier to travel across the depletion
region of a semiconductor. This parameter determines the maximum bit rate pos-
sible with a particular photodiode.
1. Spectral response. The range of wavelength values that a given photodiode \\ il1
respond. Generally, relative spectral response is graphed as a function of u ar e-
length or frequency, as shown in Figure 1-39.
5. Light sensititit,^. The minimum optical power a light detector can receir e and :t:ll
produce a usable electdcal output signal. Light sensitivity is generalll
gi\
en i!.: :
particular wavelength in either dBm or dBp.
l,aser is an acronym for /ight amplification stimulated by the emission
(rf ,idrJ::,rn
L;!3:
technology deals with the concentmtion of light into a very smal1. po$.dn.
-r:!.
Th.
acronym was chosen when technology shifted from microwares to lisht rr i.' e. Bl:ic.llll.
there are four types of lasers: gas, liquid, solid, and semiconductor.
:
LASEBS
F ber Transmission Media 41
.<
L
I
h
The llrst laser was de!eloped b1 Theodore
H Maimrn' ]
(cienti\t who worked i':-
UWn* efr.rJi
i"-p,ny
i' C"lifo'ni"
Maiman directed a berm of light into ruby cq ''
iutr'*itt o *"non na.hlamp
and measured
emitted radiation
tiom the ruby He discorer:-
that when the emitted
radiation
increased beyond threshold
it caused emitted radiation
:
t"."..
"-ir"."fy
intense and highly dircctionai
Uranium
lasers were developed
in 191
"b"S
*fih.,t *,l"te-carth
materi;ls
Alsoin lg60 A Javinof
BellLabontodes
d:1"':lt-
the helium laser. semiconductor
lasers
(injection laser diodes)
were manufactuled
in 19"-
by General
EIectric. IBM. and l-incoln
Laboratories'
1-1 4-'1 Laser TYPes
eurl.afy, ,f.,.r. ur" foo, t"uptt nf laters:
gas' liquid' solid' and semiconductor'
l. Gos lasgrs. Gas lasers use a mixture of helium and neon enclosed
in a glass lui'.
A flow of coherent
(one lrequency)
light $aves is emi ed through
the output
c'r
-
pi., *t .n un .tett'it t""ni it dittth"iged
inb the gas The continuous
light-\\
: :
tutput is monochromatic
(one color)'
1.. iiiria tnurr.Liquid
lasers use organic dyes enclosed in a glass tube lbr an ac::
'
medium.
Dye is circulateil
into thJtube
uiith a pump. A powerlul
pulse of light :'
cites the organic dYe'
3.Solidlasers.Solidlasersuseasoliil.cl'linclricalcrystal.suchasruby,tbrtheac..'.
medium.
Each end of the rubl is polished rnd parallel' The nrhl is exciPd
!l: :t::
sten Iamp tied to an ac pou er
ruppll
'
The t\tLtput from the la'\er is a contlnuous
\\ ; :
1. Sentit'ontluctot
/n'n" strnitond"tor
lasers are made from semiconductor
--'
junctions and are commonlv
called lLDs The excitation
mechanism
is a dc
p''-'t:
supply that controls
the am'ount ofcunent
to the active medium
The ourput
i ::
frorn an ILD iS easily modulated.
making it r,ery useful in many electronic
c, ::-
munications
aPPlications'
1-14-2
Laser
Characteristics
lll rvnps of lrlsers have severalcomnton
characteristics
They all use
(l) an active mal::-
; ::',,,..,,
";;;;',;,"t.'., 'ieni
': ' '
pumping
'ource
t..' provide power or enerpl
r
'i
:
ii.rl" o'*.i,rr-.:u.am
through the o.,titt
,n"t"'i"l to be rmplified'
(4) optics to direc:---'
U.".i"i""""to*powerfulioneofdirergence'(5litfeedbackmechanismtopro\ide-:-
tinuous operation.
and
(6)
an output c"uplir
to trrntmit
power outol the.laser
'
The radiation of a laser is extreme
li intense ilnd d irectionul
WhenJbcused
into
"
:
-=
fralrlite
ueam. it can concentrate
all lts power rnto the naffou heam
tf the beam
ot
--
were allowed
to cliverge.
it would lose most of its power'
1-'l 4-3 Laser Construction
nnectedroai...:
Figure 1-40 shows the construction
of a basic laser' A power source ls co
tube that is coiled around a glass tube that holds the active medium
One end ofthe :
-
iru. it I p"f ,rfr"a .irror tacl fur 100% internal
reflection
The flashtube
i: energiz;-
-
a trisger
pulsc ilnd
prorluce' a nign-ler et hur't
of lreht l'itnilrr lu a flu'hhulhr
'lI<.:--
-
""rr'"'r,'ni.rrro,.,"rn
arom:
r ithin the active crystalline
structure
to become
excltei
:'
;;;;r,
.1 p..p-g rarses the ler el of the chromium
atoms fiom
ground state to r. :
Ii*J"".*i
.,ri.. it. ions rhen decr5.
talling to an interrneLtirlc
enerEy^i:':'^l]^h'
'
r."rl".i'"f
i"". in the intermedilte
lc\et it grealer lhan lhe ground
\lale' a p()fL
-
i#*r;;';;;;;:.
in.
popur*,on invetsion
causes
ltrser action
(lasing) to occur'
A:::'
'
,"ri"o
"i "rn".
the excired chromium
atoms will tall to the
ground energy level
A:
--
i;..";il;;
r;;'.,ni,,"I
'r
pto'on is a packet of radiant energv
The emitted
pir :
-
strike atoms and two other photo^ u'" t-intd
(hence the term "stimulated
emir':
-
iir.'ir.or"".y
of the energy determines
the strength of the
photonsi higher
frequ::-
'
cause
greater-strength
photolls'
chapter
1
.l for
ilys-
'
ered
on to
1960
loped
1962
Output
light bem
tube.
tcou-
\\'ave
retive
ht ex-
rctive
tung-
r\ ave.
jr
P.t
)ower
:light
com-
rrerial
3top-
.t the
-' con-
i t'ine
'light
r'lash-
glass
ed by
flash
l. The
ln ex-
:n the
lation
.iter a
rt this
LOIONS
ion").
: nc ies
FIGURE 1-4O Laser construction
: OPTICAL FIBER SYSTEM LINK BUDGET
As with aDy communications
system. optical fiber systems consist of a sour.'e and a desli-
nation that lre separated by numerous conrponents and derices that intrtrduce various
amounts of loss or gain to the signal as i1 propagates
through the svstent. Ficure l--ll shows
two typical optical fiber communications
systern configurations. Figure I -J 1 ; sho$ s a re-
peaterless
system where the source and destination are interconnected thrLlugh one or more
sections of optical cable. With a repeaterless system. there are no rmplitier. i.r re !enerators
between the source and destination
Figure I -4lb shows an optical fiber system that includes a repearer rh.il eirher ampli-
lies or regenerates the signal. Repeatered systems are obviously used \\ hen the
.rrur;e
and
destination are separated by great
distances.
Link budgets are generally
calculated between a light source and il lichl detecror:
thereforc, fbr our example. we Iook at a link budget tbr u repeuterler. ...,.r..i
{ ,.p."t..-
less system consists of a light source. such as an LED or ILD. and a lishr dere;rtrr. such as
an APD connecled b1 opticrl libel and connc, torr. Therefore. rhe link buJj(r ..,n.i.rs o[a
light power source. a light detector. and various cable and connsclsl ls,..s.- L(,..e. r) pical
to opticrl fibcr links include the following:
l. Coble losses. Cable losses depend on cable length. materiai. and marerial purin,.
They are generally given in dB/km and can valy bet$,een a te\\ renrhi of a dB to
several dB per kilometer.
2- Contector losscs. Mechanical connectors are sometimes used to connecr ruo sec_
tions ofcable. If the mechanical connection is not perfecr.
lishr energ) ci.in e:cape.
resulting in a reduction in optical power.
Connector losses rr picalll r an ber* een
a few tenths of a dB to as much as 2 dB for each connecror.
i. Soun'e-to-t'ctble
i tatltke loss. The mechanical iilrerlace u!.J rr-r house the light
source and attach it to the cahle is seldom perfect. Thereit re. a small percentage
of optical po$'er is not coupled into the cable. representin_s a p(r$ er loss to the sys_
tem of several tenths of a dB.
1. Cdble-tr.t-light tletecbr inteia(e loss. The mechanical inrertace used to house the
light detector and attach it to the cable is also nor pertect
and. therefore, prevenrs
a smlll percentage
of the power lear in-s the cabie tiom entering the light detector
This, of course. represents a loss to rhe s\ \tem
usually of a few tenths of a dB.
5. S7r1ici,g 1oss. If more than one continuou\ section of cable is required. cable sec_
tions can be f'used together
(splicedr.
Because rhe splices are not perfect, losses
ranging from a couple tenths of a dB ro \e\ eral dB can be introduced to the sisnal.
Fb6h tubo
:
=
Fiber Transmission
Media
43
ri
f*";,1
ld,"ef
Optical transmitter
(LED or ILD)
Oplical transmitter
(LED or ILD)
Optical receiver
(APD)
Optical
receiver
(APD)
:
1,1.8 dBm
BePeater
(Amplifier or regenerator)
S
es
igna
on na
Fiber cable
(a)
Fiber cable
(b)
L
G,;;'-1
I
source
I
Fiber cable
FIGURE
1-41 Optical fiber communications
sysiems: [a]
without repeaters; [b]
with
rePeaters
6.Cablebends.N|lenanopticalCableiSbentattoolalgeanangle,theintema].:r.
acteriSticsofthecablecanchansedramatically.lfthechangeSaleSevele.tr]l:=.
flections
for some of the tigttt ioy' rnoy no longer be achier ed' resulting
r- ':-
t.*iion.
I-igt t
'"f'octed
at th"e corelcladding
interface
enters the cladding'
re'i-
-4
in u n.t tori to tt't tignal of a few tenths
of a dB to several
dB'
As with any link or system budget'
the useiul
power availatrl",ll:l:
t"""t"t' O
"r,r"r.-iip"*i,
""d
link losses M'athematically'
receive
power is represented
as
P.:Pr-losses
\r'here
P.
:
Power
received
(dBm)
P,
:
Power
transmitted
(dBm)
losses =
sum of all losses
(dB)
Example
1-6
Determine
the optical
power received
in dBm and watts for a 20-km optical
fiber link tlith r':
lowing
parameters:
LED outPut
Power
ol 30 mw
Four 5-km sections
of optical cable each with a loss of 0 5 dB'&m
Three cable-to-cable
connectors
with a loss of 2 dB each
No cable splices
Light source-to-fiber
interface
loss of I 9 dB
Fiber-to-light
detector
loss of 2 l dB
No losses due to cable bends
Solution
The LED outprjt
power is converted
to dBm using Equation
I -6:
e"-
- r0roeffi
44
chapter'l
S gnal
stlnation
The cable loss is sirnply the producl ofthe total cable length in km and rhe losi in iB irn. Four i lxr
sections of cable is a total cable length of 20 km: theretbre,
totil cable loss = 20 km x 0.5 dB/km
:
I0 dB
Cabie connector loss is simply the product of the loss in dB per connector and the number of con-
neclors. The maximum number of connectors is always one less than the number ol sections of ca-
ble. Four sections olcablc would thcn rcquire threc connectorsl theretbre.
total connector loss = I connectors x 2 dB/connector
:6dB
The light source-to-cable and cable-to-light detector losses were given as 1.9 dB arld 2.I dB, respec-
tively. Therefore,
total loss = cable loss + connector loss + light source-to cable loss * cable-to-light detector loss
= l0dB + 6dB + 1.9dB + 2.1 dB
= 20 dB
The receive power is deternined by substituling into Equation l-22:
P,. = 14.8 dBm
-
20 dB
:
5.2 dBm
:
0.302 mW
:_
temd char-
:re. total re-
rfting in re-
'ts.
resulting
\er depends
ld as
\ l-22t
:-:STIONS
.
t, .\o
q'
l2.la. D.t,n"r llber-optrc.).tem.
-. -J-\
f
f
I'J (
t-) wtrt is ttre relationship between infbrmation capacity and bandwidthl
'Tl-t.
what development in 195 I was a substantial breakthrough in the field of tiber optics l In 19601
-
"\t
In lq?ol
l--1. Contrast the advanlages and disadvantages of fiber optic cablcs and mctallic cables.
-:
= -
I L
^
0
,I
-Li
Ourline thc primary building blocks of a flbe r optic system.
3
^c,
g7;:ff:"]::;'.:Tffiff:luil"u'iio"._o*,".00,"
- .-r<
d4l4t<Q
l-8. Define the tbllowing rerms: r'elocin .r/ propagLlti(rt, rcJi-uttio , and. rclrctctive ittle.t.
"
.-.1
l-q. Stare Snell'\ hw tbr refracrion and outline its significance in fiber-optic cables.
' t a)
r ,
( l-lll. Deltne rririatl rnqle.
ac,.)a'
e
'
-L{,rDescribe
what is meant by ,ro./e .y''ope ration; by intlex profile.
-\-t
(!lilDereribe a step index fiber cable; a graded-in<lex cable.
^-
!otet'-'(r-r:.)Con,rasttheadvantagesanddisadvantagesofstep-index.graded-index,single-mode.andmul-
\ \--.'/.,--,
I
l - l-r.,/Lontrast the aovantaSes ano olsaolanlaSes oI step-lndex.
Sraoed-lnoex,
slr
- 5,
\$
Vrimod(
propaparon.
1lt'rt
"
.\ \Jl .f-ll.
Wh1 i..ingle-mode propagation impossible with graded-index fibeN?
^\.6 ^4''
"l-15.
De'.ribe rhe.uurue ro.fiber apenure.
(W
"
'
l - 16. whiit rre rhe dr ceptunt e ungle and the atceprunce unte for a fiber cable?
i $ ith the tbl-
-
\.
pr.t9 l-11. Deline mcli,'dl ttl'.t't rc.
rt)"
'-,/l-
l-18. Li\r irnd bncfl) describe the losses associated with fiber cables.
6-n.on"t-,
r. what i.p{,/\(
'prcodtne:
.,N
\'
l-llt. Deline
7,alr,
'7re.t,[itrg
t'on:r,rttr.
hn'.
frrgu,-.)
i:I. Briefl1 de\(ribe rhe operrrion old liphl-(miuing Jiud(.
V
/il))thar
are rh( rwo primar) rype. ot LED.l
'
l-:-1. Briefll de:'cribe the operation of Jn iniection la.cr dindt.
l-lS. Whrr i\ If,\inc:)
,.---\.\
( I-:h./onrra\t rhe ad\ inuges and disadvantages of ILDs and LEDs.
Ya Bri.tll describe rhe fun.riun ,'f J phoroJioJe
l-:li. Describe the phot()electric et-tlcl.
Frber Transmission Media 45
1
1-29. Explain the difference between a PIN diode and an APD'
l-.10- List anrl rlescribe the primary characteristics
of light detectors'
PROBLEMS
|\,,
1- l, Determine the wavelengths in nanometers antl angstroms for the following light frequencie:
a. 3.45 x lora Hz
b. 3.62
x 10'1 Hz
c. 3.21 x l0rr Hz
l-2. Determine the light frequency for the fbllowing wavelengths:
a. 670 nm
b. 7800 A
c.7l0nm
l -J. For a glass (n
=
Ls)/quanz
(n
:
1.38) interface and an angle of incidence of 35" determia
the angle of relraction.
l-,1. Determine the critical angle for the fiber described in problem l-3'
1-5. Determine the acceptance an31e for the cable described in problem l-3'
l-6. Determine the numerical ape(ure for the cable described in
Foblem
1-3'
l-7. Determine the maximum bit rate for RZ and NRZ encoding for the following pulse-spreadir;
constants and cable lengths:
a. Ar: l0ns/m,L= l00m
b. Ar
:
20 ns/m, L
:
1000 m
c. At: 2000 ns/km, a: 2 km
Determine the lowest light frequency that can be detected by a photodiode with an energ)
g-
= 1.2 eV
l)etermine the wavelengths in nanometem and angstroms for the following light ftequencie:
a. 3.8 x 10ta Hz
h. 3.2 x l0r1 Hz
c. 3.5
x 10ra Hz
1-10. Determine the light frequencies for the tbllowing wavelengths:
a. 650 nm
b. 7200 A
c. 690 nm
l-ll.Foraglass(r:I.5)/quanz(n:1.'11)interfaceandanangleofincidenceof38o'determrr
the angle of refraction.
l-12. Determine the critical angle for the fiber described in problem 1-ll'
I-l-1. Determine the acceptance angle for the cable described in problem 1-11
l-l{. Determine the numerical aperture for the cable desctibed in problem l- I l
'
l-15. Derermine the maximum bit rate for RZ and NRZ encoding for the following
pulse-spread=
constants and cable lengths:
a. A. = 1'1 ns/m,l
:
200 m
b. Ar= 10 ns/m. L
=
50 m
c. A/
:
20 ns/m, L: 200 m
l - 16. Determine the lowest light fiequency that can be detected by a photodiode with an energ)
gE
:
l25eV
(
iD. o"t".-in" tt e oprical po\ er received in dBm and watts for a 24-km optical fiber link with
-
V follo*ing
p-amete..,
LED output
Power
of 20 mW
Six 4-km sections of optical cable each with a loss of 0 6 dB/km
Three cable-to-cable connectors with a loss of 2 1 dB each
No cable sPlices
Light source-to-fiber
interface loss of 2 2 dB
Fiber-to-light detector loss of I 8 dB
No losses due to cable bends
Chapter 1
\A
46
l-9.