Self-guided beams in low-birefringence nematic liquid crystals

M. Kwasny, U.A. Laudyn, F.A. Sala, A. Alberucci, M.A. Karpierz and G. Assanto

Phys. Rev. A 86, 013824 (2012)


We investigate the nonlinear propagation of coherent light beams in planar samples of low-birefringence nematic liquid crystals, changing the input polarization and the incidence angle in order to enhance reorientational self-focusing and generate optical spatial solitons under a variety of previously unexplored launch conditions. We find that reorientational spatial solitons require larger excitation powers in low-birefringence than in high-birefringence nematic liquid crystals but remain stable. We compare the experimental results with full-vectorial numerical simulations.