Incoherent interaction of nematicons in biasfree liquid crystal cells

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

J. Eur. Opt. Soc. 5, 10008--1-5 (2008)


We study experimentally the propagation dynamics and interaction of a pair of mutually incoherent nematicons: spatial optical solitons in nematic liquid crystals. In contrast to earlier studies, we consider a bias-free liquid-crystal cell and compare the soliton interaction in copropagating and counterpropagating geometries. We analyze the dependence of nematicon interaction on input power and observe a direct manifestation of a long-range nonlocal nonlinearity. Attraction of counterpropagating solitons requires higher powers and longer relaxation times than that of copropagating nematicons due to losses-induced power asymmetry of counterpropagating nematicon