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Solitary waves induce waveguide that can split light beams

Date:
March 15, 2012
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Scientists have performed simulations to help understand the occurrence of multiple solitary optical waves that are used to reconfigure optical beams. Researchers have designed the first theoretical model that describes the occurrence of multiple solitary optical waves, referred to as dark photovoltaic spatial solitons.
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A Chinese team has performed simulations to help understand the occurrence of multiple solitary optical waves that are used to reconfigure optical beams

Researchers have designed the first theoretical model that describes the occurrence of multiple solitary optical waves, referred to as dark photovoltaic spatial solitons. The findings by Yuhong Zhang, a physicist from the Xi'an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Science, and his colleagues is about to be published in The European Physical Journal D. Because the shape of dark solitons remains unaffected by the crystal in which they travel, they induce waveguides, which can be used, for example, to reconfigure optical beams by splitting them.

Dark solitons are generated in so-called photorefractive crystals -- crystals that respond to an incoming light beam by decreasing their refractive index as optical intensity increases, causing in the incoming beam to defocus. This effect is called nonlinear self-defocusing. Dark solitons occur when the diffraction of an incoming beam by the notch, located at the crystal's entrance, is compensated by the crystal's self-defocusing effect. As a result, dark solitons can induce waveguides for light beams, allowing them to travel unchanged through photorefractive crystals.

The authors performed the first numerical simulation to model the formation and evolution of one-dimensional multiple dark solitons inside a photorefractive crystal, relying on an approximation technique called the beam propagation method. By expanding the width of the dark notch located at the entrance of the crystal, which, unlike in previous studies, was not given any special function, they showed it was possible to create multiple dark solitons.

These solitons appeared in either odd or even numbers, depending on the initial beam phase or amplitude. The authors also confirmed previous findings that showed that when multiple solitons are generated, the separation between them becomes smaller. Further, the solitons become progressively wider and less visible, the farther away they are from the main dark notch entry location.


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Journal Reference:

  1. Y. H. Zhang, K. Q. Lu, J. B. Guo, K. H. Li, B. Y. Liu. Steady-state multiple dark photovoltaic spatial solitons. The European Physical Journal D, 2012; 66 (3) DOI: 10.1140/epjd/e2012-20560-4

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Springer Science+Business Media. "Solitary waves induce waveguide that can split light beams." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120315095018.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2012, March 15). Solitary waves induce waveguide that can split light beams. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120315095018.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Solitary waves induce waveguide that can split light beams." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120315095018.htm (accessed July 3, 2015).

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