Solitary wave propagation and steering through light-induced refractive potentials

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

Phys. Rev. A 81, 063811 (2010)


The steering of a self-guided beam in a dye-doped nematic liquid crystal caused by an external illumination (control beam) that induces changes in the refractive index of the medium is theoretically analyzed. The interaction between the control beam and the dye molecules modifies the anchoring of the nematic molecules, so changing the director orientation in the bulk of the medium. Beam evolution is investigated by use of a modulation theory approach. It is found that the beam trajectory is independent of the beam profile, as long as this profile is self-similar. Solutions obtained from the modulation theory approach are in excellent agreement with numerical solutions.