Optical path control of solitary waves in dye-doped nematic liquid crystals

G. Assanto, B. J. Skuse and N. F. Smyth

Photon. Lett. Pol. 1 (4), 154-156 (2009)


The light-induced steering of spatial optical solitary waves in dye-doped nematic liquid crystals is analyzed. Shining a control beam through the cell results in a boundary mediated change in the orientation of the molecular director, thereby a perturbation in the refractive index of the medium. This re-orientational effect can optically steer spatial solitary waves propagating in an orthogonal plane within the liquid crystal layer. The equations governing this steering are solved using a Lagrangian formulation, resulting in modulation equations for the self-trapped beam path. Very good agreement is obtained between solutions of the modulation equations and numerical solutions of the full governing equations.