Enhancement of the supercontinuum generation performance of a highly-nonlinear optical fiber (HNLF) is accomplished by performing at least one post-processing treatment on the HNLF. Particularly, UV exposure of the HNLF will modify its dispersion and effective area characteristics so as to increase its supercontinuum bandwidth, without resorting to techniques such as tapering or introducing unwanted reflections into the HNLF. The UV exposure can be uniform, slowly varying or aperiodic along the length of the HNLF, where the radiation will modify the nonlinear properties of the HNLF. Various other methods of altering these properties may be used. The output from the HNLF can be monitored and used to control the post-processing operation in order to achieve a set of desired features in the enhanced supercontinuum spectrum.

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> Birefringence characteristic measuring method, optical recording medium and optical information recording/reproducing apparatus

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