Abstract

We present a simple theory based on the method of moments for fitting experimental measurements of optical nonlinearities obtained by the Z-scan technique. Our method provides a simple and intuitive image for Gaussian beam propagation through a nonlinear optical plate: a linear transformation that consists of a displacement and a contraction of the beam waist. We study cubic nonlinearities of samples of arbitrary thickness. We also consider, for thin samples, higher-order nonlinearities such as cubic–quintic nonlinearities and the effect of nonlinear absorption.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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