Recently, a new type of spatial soliton has been predicted to be observable in a photorefractive crystal.1,2 For example, consider an input laser beam that is diverging because of diffraction as it passes through a photorefractive material. Interference between the beam’s spatial-frequency components can be considered to write photorefractive gratings on the crystal. These gratings, or spatial variations in the index of refraction, have one component that is in phase and another that is 90° out of phase with their parent intensity pattern.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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