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Curved optical solitons subject to transverse acceleration in reorientational soft matter

Journal Article


Abstract


  • We demonstrate that optical spatial solitons with non-rectilinear trajectories can be made to propagate in a uniaxial dielectric with a transversely modulated orientation of the optic axis. Exploiting the reorientational nonlinearity of nematic liquid crystals and imposing a linear variation of the background alignment of the molecular director, we observe solitons whose trajectories have either a monotonic or a non-monotonic curvature in the observation plane of propagation, depending on either the synergistic or counteracting roles of wavefront distortion and birefringent walk-off, respectively. The observed effect is well modelled in the weakly nonlinear regime using momentum conservation of the self-collimated beams in the presence of the spatial nonlocality of the medium response. Since reorientational solitons can act as passive waveguides for other weak optical signals, these results introduce a wealth of possibilities for all-optical signal routing and light-induced photonic interconnects.

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Laudyn, U. A., Kwaśny, M., Sala, F. A., Karpierz, M. A., Smyth, N. F., & Assanto, G. (2017). Curved optical solitons subject to transverse acceleration in reorientational soft matter. Scientific Reports, 7(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-017-12242-5

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85030096555

Web Of Science Accession Number


Volume


  • 7

Issue


  • 1

Abstract


  • We demonstrate that optical spatial solitons with non-rectilinear trajectories can be made to propagate in a uniaxial dielectric with a transversely modulated orientation of the optic axis. Exploiting the reorientational nonlinearity of nematic liquid crystals and imposing a linear variation of the background alignment of the molecular director, we observe solitons whose trajectories have either a monotonic or a non-monotonic curvature in the observation plane of propagation, depending on either the synergistic or counteracting roles of wavefront distortion and birefringent walk-off, respectively. The observed effect is well modelled in the weakly nonlinear regime using momentum conservation of the self-collimated beams in the presence of the spatial nonlocality of the medium response. Since reorientational solitons can act as passive waveguides for other weak optical signals, these results introduce a wealth of possibilities for all-optical signal routing and light-induced photonic interconnects.

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Laudyn, U. A., Kwaśny, M., Sala, F. A., Karpierz, M. A., Smyth, N. F., & Assanto, G. (2017). Curved optical solitons subject to transverse acceleration in reorientational soft matter. Scientific Reports, 7(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-017-12242-5

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85030096555

Web Of Science Accession Number


Volume


  • 7

Issue


  • 1