Abstract

We study theoretically the dependence of the photorefractive response of a periodically poled ferroelectric on the spatial frequency of light fringes, on the period of the domain inversion, and on its mark-to-space ratio. The photovoltaic effect, the drift of photoelectrons under an applied field, and their diffusion are considered as charge-transport mechanisms. Strong suppression of the photorefractive properties at low spatial frequencies (reduction of optical damage) together with retention of these properties in a region of short-fringe spacing are shown. We also found that the periodicity of the domain structure can produce a new kind of photorefractive parametric wave coupling. This coupling is characterized by a large gain factor for the waves propagating at angles that depend on the domain-inversion period. Finally, we discuss promising photorefractive experiments in periodically poled lithium niobate.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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