Abstract

The splitting and steering of ultrashort pulses propagating through a Kerr medium are investigated. This investigation extends earlier ones of cw spatial soliton Y junctions into the area of subpicosecond solitonlike pulse propagation. Besides that of the all-optical steering process, the influence of normal group-velocity dispersion and two-photon absorption is discussed. It is found that both processes modify the transmission characteristics of the system (i.e., output versus input beam intensity) in a similar way. However, two-photon absorption inhibits the steering property of Y junctions, whereas normal group-velocity dispersion enhances it. A model based on an adiabatic propagation approximation is used to explain this behavior qualitatively.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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