Fast energy exchange between two recording beams is observed and analyzed in three kinds of doubly-doped LiNbO<sub>3</sub> crystals during holographic recording. Self-enhancement and oscillatory characteristics of diffraction during the recording step are reported. The self-enhancement in both steps of recording and fixing can obviously enhance the recorded and fixed holograms. There exists an optimal switching time from the recording step to the fixing step which can lead to highly persistent diffraction of the nonvolatile holograms.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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