As previously predicted [Appl. Opt. <b>40,</b> 5583 (2001)], we have now observed electric field-induced diffraction peaks in transmission and reflection experiments by use of a LiNbO<sub>3</sub> sample with interdigital planar electrodes that serve as a diffraction grating. The magnitudes of the new peaks in the reflection experiments are ten times larger than those in the transmission experiments. We interpret these effects in terms of a field-induced refractive-index change produced by the linear electro-optic effect. The positive and negative changes in the refractive index produce two diffraction gratings that are period doubled with respect to the original grating and that have a phase difference between them. The superposition of the diffracted light from these gratings is shown to account for the new peaks. From the relative magnitude of the new peak to that of the central peak, we estimate the refractive-index change to be 0.004.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
(050.1950) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction gratings
(050.1960) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction theory
(160.2100) Materials : Electro-optical materials
(230.2090) Optical devices : Electro-optical devices
Xi Yang, Markus Aspelmeyer, Lowell T. Wood, and John H. Miller, "Diffraction from Tunable Periodic Structures. II. Experimental Observation of Electric Field-induced Diffraction Peaks," Appl. Opt. 41, 5845-5850 (2002)