When optical beam propagates in externally DC-biased photorefractive crystal it induces refractive index change that, if sufficiently strong, may prevent beams diffraction, leading to formation of the spatial soliton.1 It has been suggested that spatial solitons could be used in all-optical switching.2 This concept is based on the fact that solitons actually form optical waveguides in a nonlinear medium that can be used to guide additional signal beams. More complicated structures involving two or more intersecting waveguides (such as X junction) can be formed by colliding two or more solitons.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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