Spatial solitons in nematic liquid crystals

G. Assanto and M. Peccianti

IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 39, 13-21 (2003)


Nematic Liquid Crystals exhibit a saturable nonlinearity, nonlocal in time and in space, owing to light-induced reorientation of the molecular director. In such medium, (2+1)dimensional spatial solitons can be obtained at mW-power levels and confine weaker co-polarized signals of different wavelength, employing either coherent or partially incoherent excitations. Our experimental observations of solitons and related phenomena, ranging from angular steering to mutual interactions, are reviewed. Models are briefly discussed and used to predict and interpret the results.