A quantitative analysis of the steady-state photorefractive index perturbations caused by a given optical irradiance distribution in a periodically poled ferroelectric is presented. Axially invariant index perturbations that are due to the photogalvanic effect are reduced compared with those in a homogeneously poled crystal by approximately the square of the product of the poling-grating wave vector (Kg) and a characteristic transverse dimension of the irradiance. This result is consistent with empirical observations in periodically poled LiNbO3 of much higher resistance to photorefractive damage.
© 1996 Optical Society of America
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