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Journal of the Optical Society of America B

Journal of the Optical Society of America B

| OPTICAL PHYSICS

  • Editor: Henry van Driel
  • Vol. 29, Iss. 9 — Sep. 1, 2012
  • pp: 2357–2372

Diversity and slow dynamics of diffraction rings: a comprehensive study of spatial self-phase modulation in a photopolymer

Ana B. Villafranca and Kalaichelvi Saravanamuttu  »View Author Affiliations


JOSA B, Vol. 29, Issue 9, pp. 2357-2372 (2012)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSAB.29.002357


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Abstract

Spatial self-phase modulation of a Gaussian beam in a photopolymer generated diffraction rings that propagated over unusually long distances (Rayleigh length) in the medium. Self-phase modulation was examined under negative, positive, and infinite wavefront curvatures (R) over different pathlengths. Resulting diffraction rings exhibited previously unobserved, slow dynamics, which could be directly monitored at the sample exit face. This study complements but differs fundamentally from previous ones that were predominantly carried out in thin films (Rayleigh length) and generated static diffraction rings, which were propagated through air and imaged in the far-field. In the photopolymer, an input beam with R<0 generated diffraction rings with a dark center, which propagated through the medium while increasing in number, underwent filamentation, and finally transformed into a stable self-trapped beam. Diffraction rings generated under R>0 bore a bright center and cyclically exchanged intensity with proximal diffraction rings. Statistical analyses of self-phase modulation at R= identified diffraction rings, which (i) were superimposed with high order modes of a co-propagating self-trapped beam, (ii) resembled fingerprint-like rings, (iii) emerged sequentially, and (iv) possessed a bright center. Results were rationalized by combining self-phase modulation theory with the evolution of refractive index changes in the photopolymer. The findings expose a new facet of spatial self-phase modulation and the complex dynamics of diffraction rings that propagate over long distances.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(160.5470) Materials : Polymers
(190.0190) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics
(190.5940) Nonlinear optics : Self-action effects
(260.5950) Physical optics : Self-focusing
(350.3450) Other areas of optics : Laser-induced chemistry

ToC Category:
Nonlinear Optics

History
Original Manuscript: March 16, 2012
Revised Manuscript: June 12, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: June 20, 2012
Published: August 8, 2012

Citation
Ana B. Villafranca and Kalaichelvi Saravanamuttu, "Diversity and slow dynamics of diffraction rings: a comprehensive study of spatial self-phase modulation in a photopolymer," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 29, 2357-2372 (2012)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josab/abstract.cfm?URI=josab-29-9-2357

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