Abstract

We propose a powerful method to numerically solve the propagation of light in a photorefractive medium in the presence of both applied field and photogalvanic nonlinearity. This time-dependent full three-dimensional model is successfully applied to explain large self-bending of a solitonlike beam observed in biased undoped lithium niobate crystals. It reveals that charge saturation is at the origin of beam bending. The numerical results give deep insight of the formation dynamics in agreement with experiments and depict the trajectory of the induced waveguide inside the crystal.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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