Abstract

Artificial Kerr media made from liquid suspensions of submicrometer particles were used as a new type of nonlinear medium for observing cw self-focusing and self-trapping of laser beams. Self-trapping of TEM00-mode beams and higher-order TEM01- and TEM01*-mode beams were investigated. Saturation-free operation down to filament diameters of ~2 μm was observed. The independence of the critical power for self-trapping on the beam diameter in the unsaturated regime was confirmed for the first time to our knowledge. Values of the nonlinear coefficient were determined for a range of particle diameters from 0.038 to 0.234 μm.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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