Abstract

Temporal total internal reflection (TIR), in analogy to the conventional TIR of an optical beam at a dielectric interface, is the total reflection of an optical pulse inside a dispersive medium at a temporal boundary across which the refractive index changes. A pair of such boundaries separated in time acts as the temporal analog of planar dielectric waveguides. We study the propagation of optical pulses inside such temporal waveguides, both analytically and numerically, and show that the waveguide supports a finite number of temporal modes. We also discuss how a single-mode temporal waveguide can be created in practice. In contrast with the spatial case, the confinement can occur even when the central region has a lower refractive index.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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