The nonlinear signal in a degenerate four-wave mixing experiment as a result of diffraction of a spatially distributed third-order nonlinearity is studied theoretically. The approach has been applied for the case of monochromatic and ultrashort pulses. As a consequence, the degenerate four-wave mixing signal is found to be independent of light-coherence parameters and cannot be explained as a product of diffraction on a dynamic grating. In this model only the fast component of the signal (the coherent artifact) is related directly to third-order nonlinear processes. The main features (the origins, temporal shapes, dependencies of pump intensity, and modulation effects) of the coherent artifact and a slow-decay component are discussed theoretically and experimentally.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
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