Interactions of accessible solitons with interfaces in anisotropic media: the case of uniaxial nematic liquid crystals

A. Alberucci, A. Piccardi, R. Barboza, O. Buchnev, M. Kaczmarek, and G. Assanto

New J. Phys. 15, 043011 (2013)


We investigate, both theoretically and experimentally, spatial soliton interaction with dielectric interfaces in a strongly anisotropic medium with nonlocality, such as nematic liquid crystals. We throw light on the role of refractive index gradients as well as optic axis variations in both voltage- and self-driven angular steering of nonlocal solitons. WE specifically address and then employ in experiments a suitable designed electrode geometry in a liquid crystalline cell in order to define and tune a graded dielectric interface by exploiting the electro-optic response of the material through the in-plane reorientation of the optic axis in two distinct regions. We study both refraction and total internal reflection as well as voltage controlled steering of spatial solitons.