Two coherent light beams can couple in any absorbing material owing to a light-induced modulation of the material’s dielectric constant. In photorefractive crystals the coupling caused by these absorption gratings appears in addition to any electro-optic coupling, complicating the interpretation of data. However, in contrast with the electro-optic gratings formed by charge diffusion, absorption gratings do not necessarily vanish as the beam-crossing angle approaches zero if there is more than one absorbing level. We show that a plot of the coupling strength of the absorption gratings versus the beam-crossing angle is characterized by only three parameters, independent of the number of absorbing levels. We use absorption gratings with a two-level model to determine experimentally some important crystal parameters, including the relative density of donors and acceptors in a barium titanate crystal. Our values agree with those obtained from measurements of the bulk light-induced absorption of the crystal.
© 1991 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: July 31, 1990
Manuscript Accepted: January 23, 1991
Published: June 1, 1991
R. S. Cudney, R. M. Pierce, G. D. Bacher, and Jack Feinberg, "Absorption gratings in photorefractive crystals with multiple levels," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 8, 1326-1332 (1991)