Counterpropagating nematicons in bias-free liquid crystals

Y. V. Izdebskaya, V. G. Shvedov, A. S. Desyatnikov, W. Z. Krolikowski, M. Belic, G. Assanto, and Y. S. Kivshar

Opt. Express 18 (4), 3258-3263 (2010)


We study experimentally the interaction of two counterpropagating spatial optical solitons (nematicons) in bias-free nematic liquid crystals. We demonstrate the existence of vector nematicons composed of two beams propagating in the opposite directions, and analyze their stability depending on the relative distance and input power. We observe experimentally the dynamical instability of two counterpropagating nematicons in the form of time-dependent beam splitting and spatial entanglement.