Continuous Solitons in a Lattice Nonlinearity

D. Pierangeli, M. Flammini, F. Di Mei, J. Parravicini, C. E.M. De Oliveira, A. J. Agranat, E. DelRe

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Abstract

We study theoretically and experimentally the propagation of optical solitons in a lattice nonlinearity, a periodic pattern that both affects and is strongly affected by the wave. Observations are carried out using spatial photorefractive solitons in a volume microstructured crystal with a built-in oscillating low-frequency dielectric constant. The pattern causes an oscillating electro-optic response that induces a periodic optical nonlinearity. On-axis results in potassium-lithium-tantalate-niobate indicate the appearance of effective continuous saturated-Kerr solitons, where all spatial traces of the lattice vanish, independently of the ratio between beam width and lattice constant. Decoupling the lattice nonlinearity allows the detection of discrete delocalized and localized light distributions, demonstrating that the continuous solitons form out of the combined compensation of diffraction and of the underlying periodic volume pattern.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number203901
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume114
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 May 2015

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© 2015 American Physical Society.

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