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Materials 2018, 11(10), 1837; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11101837

Interplay of Thermo-Optic and Reorientational Responses in Nematicon Generation

1
Faculty of Physics, Warsaw University of Technology, PL-00662 Warsaw, Poland
2
NooEL—Nonlinear Optics and OptoElectronics Lab, University Roma Tre, I-00146 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Nonlinear Optical Materials)
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Abstract

Employing several nematic liquid crystal mixtures, we investigate how the thermo-optic response of nonlinear birefringent soft-matter affects the propagation of light beams and the features of self-induced waveguides. We address the formation of optical spatial solitons and the control of their trajectories versus temperature, comparing the measurements with the expectations based on a simplified model, showing an excellent agreement. Moreover, in a guest–host mixture with an absorbing dye dopant, we study the competition between reorientational and thermal nonlinearities, demonstrating that the two processes can be adjusted independently in order to tune the soliton properties, i.e., trajectory and confinement strength. Our results are an important contribution to better comprehend the role played by material properties on linear and nonlinear beam propagation, as well as their exploitation for signal processing and addressing. View Full-Text
Keywords: nematic liquid crystals; reorientational response; thermo-optic effect; optical solitons nematic liquid crystals; reorientational response; thermo-optic effect; optical solitons
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Laudyn, U.A.; Piccardi, A.; Kwasny, M.; Klus, B.; Karpierz, M.A.; Assanto, G. Interplay of Thermo-Optic and Reorientational Responses in Nematicon Generation. Materials 2018, 11, 1837.

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