One of the most important applications of dielectric waveguides is optical fibers. After the rigorous analysis of Carson et al. in 1936 [1] showing that a circular dielectric waveguide can support a hybrid dominant mode with no cutoff frequency, it languished as a practical electromagnetic wave guiding structure for almost 35 years. Occasionally, dielectric waveguides acted as novel flexible microwave guides or as material for classroom demonstrations, showing that waveguides could be made with nonmetallic material. Prior to the late 1960s, the most notable uses for dielectric waveguides as optical fibers were in flexible medical imaging endoscopes for a short distance or even in decorations for homes [2]. The whole field of optical communication links through optical fibers was awakened by the successful development of low-loss fibers (with losses less than 20 dB km−1) in 1970 [3]. More recently, advances in the design of dispersion-flattened, dispersionshifted, or dispersion-modified fibers [4] involving the use of multiple cladding layers and a tailoring of the refractive-index profile have enabled the successful operation of optical communication links in single-wavelength format or in wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) format in the 1.55 μm wavelength range with fiber loss of less than 0.2 dBkm−1 [5]. Here we shall expand the electromagnetic wave analysis given in previous chapters to describe the propagation characteristics of fibers [6–10].


Wavelength Division Multiplex Optical Waveguide Material Dispersion Dielectric Waveguide Attenuation Constant 
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