Unlike glass fibres, whose core is made of quartz glass, the core of a POF consists of polymer such as polymethyl methacrylate or polycarbonate. The material typically used for the jacket is fluorinated polymer. A significant difference between the POF and glass fibre is the far larger core diameter of the POF. A relatively large difference in the refraction index leads to a large acceptance angle, which nevertheless provides an acceptable bending radius.

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