A step-index fiber is characterized by the core and cladding refractive indices n1 and n2 and the core and cladding radii a and b. Examples of standard core and cladding diameters 2a/2b are 8/125, 50/125, 62.5/125, 85/125, or 100/140 (units of µm). The fractional refractive-index change . n1 is typically between 1.44 and 1.46, andis typically between 0.001 and 0.02.
Step-index optical fiber is generally made by doping high-purity fused silica glass (SiO2) with different concentrations of materials like titanium, germanium, or boron.