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Letter. Tuneable refraction and reflection of self-confined light beams

Letter. Tuneable refraction and reflection of self-confined light beams
Letter. Tuneable refraction and reflection of self-confined light beams
Light filaments or optical spatial solitons are self-confined (non-spreading) beams that originate from the balance between diffraction and self-focusing in nonlinear optical media (those with a response dependent on the level of excitation)1, 2, 3. Owing to their ability to self-trap as well as to guide weaker signals (even if differing in colour or modulation format) within the waveguides or 'light-pipes' they induce, optical spatial solitons could form the basis of future all-optical processing networks4, 5. One of the most interesting challenges in soliton propagation and engineering concerns light filaments incident on linear/nonlinear or nonlinear/nonlinear interfaces. Here we report the robust propagation, refraction and reflection of optical spatial solitons at the interface between two regions of a nematic liquid crystal. The ability to independently tune the optical properties of each region enables us to steer the beams by refraction and total internal reflection by as much as -18 and +22 degrees, respectively. Moreover, the extended (nonlocal) and anisotropic response of our system supports polarization healing of the solitons across the interface as well as non-specular filament reflection. Finally, exploiting the inherent and all-optically tunable birefringence, we demonstrate unprecedented nonlinear Goos–Hänchen lateral shifts in excess of 0.5 mm.
optical physics, electronics, photonics and device physics
1745-2473
737-742
Peccianti, Marco
b842fcb7-775a-45f2-851e-7283ea094cd2
Dyadyusha, Andriy
daa939a8-2860-4a31-ab12-7950bf59aeef
Kaczmarek, Malgosia
408ec59b-8dba-41c1-89d0-af846d1bf327
Assanto, Gaetano
c89823fa-c863-4ff3-aea0-915fa5852df2
Peccianti, Marco
b842fcb7-775a-45f2-851e-7283ea094cd2
Dyadyusha, Andriy
daa939a8-2860-4a31-ab12-7950bf59aeef
Kaczmarek, Malgosia
408ec59b-8dba-41c1-89d0-af846d1bf327
Assanto, Gaetano
c89823fa-c863-4ff3-aea0-915fa5852df2

Peccianti, Marco, Dyadyusha, Andriy, Kaczmarek, Malgosia and Assanto, Gaetano (2006) Letter. Tuneable refraction and reflection of self-confined light beams. Nature Physics, 2 (11), 737-742. (doi:10.1038/nphys427).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Light filaments or optical spatial solitons are self-confined (non-spreading) beams that originate from the balance between diffraction and self-focusing in nonlinear optical media (those with a response dependent on the level of excitation)1, 2, 3. Owing to their ability to self-trap as well as to guide weaker signals (even if differing in colour or modulation format) within the waveguides or 'light-pipes' they induce, optical spatial solitons could form the basis of future all-optical processing networks4, 5. One of the most interesting challenges in soliton propagation and engineering concerns light filaments incident on linear/nonlinear or nonlinear/nonlinear interfaces. Here we report the robust propagation, refraction and reflection of optical spatial solitons at the interface between two regions of a nematic liquid crystal. The ability to independently tune the optical properties of each region enables us to steer the beams by refraction and total internal reflection by as much as -18 and +22 degrees, respectively. Moreover, the extended (nonlocal) and anisotropic response of our system supports polarization healing of the solitons across the interface as well as non-specular filament reflection. Finally, exploiting the inherent and all-optically tunable birefringence, we demonstrate unprecedented nonlinear Goos–Hänchen lateral shifts in excess of 0.5 mm.

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Published date: 2006
Keywords: optical physics, electronics, photonics and device physics
Organisations: Quantum, Light & Matter Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 42187
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/42187
ISSN: 1745-2473
PURE UUID: 149bd513-7fab-42f0-92b3-9db76bd2171d

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Date deposited: 22 Nov 2006
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 21:12

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Contributors

Author: Marco Peccianti
Author: Andriy Dyadyusha
Author: Gaetano Assanto

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