Spatial optical soliton propagation in any material is limited by the losses of the optical beam, which results in beam broadening. In nematic liquid crystals it is possible to tune the magnitude of the nonlinearity by means of a bias voltage. In this work we present the idea of increasing the nonlinearity along the propagation distance by changing the bias voltage. Next to a theoretical analysis, we present experimental proof of the validity of our method. The use of this technique offers a major advantage for optical interconnects because the beam broadening can be reduced over much longer propagation distances.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: March 23, 2009
Revised Manuscript: May 15, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: May 18, 2009
Published: June 12, 2009
Jeroen Beeckman, Hamidreza Azarinia, and Marc Haelterman, "Countering spatial soliton breakdown in nematic liquid crystals," Opt. Lett. 34, 1900-1902 (2009)