Deflection of Nematicon-Vortex Vector Solitons in Liquid Crystals

G. Assanto, A. A. Minzoni and N. F. Smyth

Phys. Rev. A 89, 013827 (2014)


The deflection of a vector soliton formed by a solitary wave and an optical vortex in nematic liquid crystals is investigated upon interaction with a localized refractive index defect. The azimuthal instability of the vortex can be triggered by the index perturbation and enhanced by the distortion of the copropagating solitary wave when in the vicinity of the defect. A modulation theory is developed to study the refraction of the vector soliton and is found to be in good agreement with numerical solutions. This model reveals the crucial role of the diffractive radiation shed by both beam components as they evolve, showing that radiation reduces the destabilizing effect of the solitary wave interaction with the vortex, thus enlightening the effect of this continuous spectrum on the evolution of the nonlinear wave packets.