Abstract

We consider soliton formation in thermal nonlinear media bounded by rectangular cross sections and uncover what we believe to be a new class of nonlinear stationary topological state. Specifically, we find that stationary higher-order vortex states in standard shapes do not exist, but rather they take the form of multiple spatially separated single-charge singularities nested in an elliptical beam. Double-charge states are found to be remarkably robust despite their shape asymmetry and phase-singularity splitting. States with higher topological charges are found to be unstable.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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