We theoretically demonstrate that microscopic heterogeneous properties can enhance the transmission bandwidths of graded-index plastic optical fibers (POFs) for short-haul communication networks. The heterogeneities of the POF cores are quantitatively correlated with mode couplings by modifying the coupled power equation with consideration of the spatial correlation characteristics of the heterogeneities. Using the modified theory, we clarify that the larger fluctuation size and/or amplitude results in higher bandwidth because of greater forward scattering and/or higher scattering efficiency, respectively. This suggests that the multimode fiber bandwidths can depend on the macroscopically observed index profiles as well as on the microscopic material properties.
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