We have studied transverse propagation of femtosecond pulse duration laser light through the microstructure of hexagonal lattice photonic crystal fibers. Our results provide insight in the role of the microstructure on the amount of optical power that reaches the core of the PCF, which is of particular importance for grating inscription applications. We developed a dedicated approach based on commercial FDTD software and defined a figure of merit, the transverse coupling efficiency, to evaluate the coupling process. We analyzed the propagation of femtosecond laser pulses to the core of a wide range of PCFs and studied the influence of the PCF orientation angle, the air hole pitch and air hole radius on the energy reaching the core. We have found that the transverse coupling efficiency can benefit from a dedicated design of the microstructured cladding and an accurate fiber orientation. We designed a dedicated PCF microstructure that enhances transverse coupling to the core at a wavelength of 800 nm. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7705-7716
Number of pages12
JournalOpt. Express
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2011

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ID: 2105713