Abstract

A general theory of two-wave mixing (TWM) in nonlinear media is presented. Assuming a gain (or absorption) grating and a refractive index grating are generated because of the nonlinear process in a nonlinear medium, the coupled-wave equations of TWM are derived based on Maxwell’s wave equation. The coupled-wave equations can be decoupled as coupled equations for the intensity and coupled equations for the phase of both beams, and these two sets of coupled equations can be solved analytically by using average total intensity in the medium instead of using the total intensity. Compared with the previous theory of TWM, the theory presented here is more general, and the applications of the theory to photorefractive materials, Kerr media, and semiconductor broad-area amplifiers are described.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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