Abstract

We present an analysis of what is called parametric oscillation in photorefractive media. It is shown theoretically that when a running grating and a constant electric field are applied to a photorefractive medium it is possible for two secondary gratings to grow spontaneously. These theoretical predictions are subsequently verified experimentally in the crystal Bi12SiO20, and excellent qualitative agreement is obtained. In previous subharmonic experiments, only grating vectors K/2, K/3, and K /4 were observed. Now, however, a whole continuum of grating vectors has been observed. Thus subharmonic generation in photorefractive materials is simply a special case of parametric oscillation in which the two secondary gratings are identical.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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