We generate optical beams analogous to the Wannier–Stark states in semiconductor superlattices and observe that the two main lobes of the WS beams self-bend (accelerate) along two opposite trajectories in a uniform one-dimensional photonic lattice. Such self-accelerating features exist only in the presence of the lattice and are not observed in a homogenous medium. Under the action of nonlinearity, however, the beam structure and acceleration cannot be preserved. Our experimental observations are in qualitative agreement with theoretical predictions.
© 2014 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 17, 2013
Revised Manuscript: December 16, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: January 12, 2014
Published: February 14, 2014
Xinyuan Qi, Konstantinos G. Makris, Ramy El-Ganainy, Peng Zhang, Jintao Bai, Demetrios N. Christodoulides, and Zhigang Chen, "Observation of accelerating Wannier–Stark beams in optically induced photonic lattices," Opt. Lett. 39, 1065-1068 (2014)