Propagation of spatial optical solitons in a dielectric with adjustable nonlinearity

A. Alberucci, A. Piccardi, M. Peccianti, M. Kaczmarek and G. Assanto

Phys. Rev. A 82, 023806 (2010)


We investigate spatial optical solitons propagating in a medium with a saturable but adjustable nonlinearity and a fixed degree of nonlocality. We employ nematic liquid crystals in a planar cell with optical properties tuned by an external voltage and solitons excited in the near infrared. We also demonstrate soliton self-bending versus excitation due to nonlinear variations in walk-off. A theoretical model accounting for the longitudinal derivatives is employed to compute the refractive index distribution and is found in excellent agreement with the experimental data.