Coherent and Incoherent Spatial Solitons in Bulk Nematic Liquid Crystals

G. Assanto, M. Peccianti, C. Umeton, A. De Luca, and I. C. Khoo

Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 375, 617-629 (2002)


Nematic liquid crystals are suitable materials for nonlinear wave propagation. A reorientational nonlinearity can be observed at very low optical intensities and the saturating response of the medium allows for the formation of 3D solitary waves. In this paper we review our recent theoretical and experimental results on spatial soliton formation in a nematic liquid crystal cell. Optical induced waveguiding at mW powers with either a coherent or an incoherent pump is demonstrated. Spatial readdressing of a signal beam in the soliton-waveguide is also shown.