Optomechanical Self-Channeling of Light in a Suspended Planar Dual-Nanoweb Waveguide

, , , and . Phys. Rev. Lett. 108 (9): 093903 (March 2012)Editor Suggestion, Selected for a Focus in Physics http://physics.aps.org/articles/v5/27.


It is shown that optomechanical forces can cause nonlinear self-channelling of light in a planar dual-slab waveguide. A system of two parallel silica nanowebs, spaced ~100 nm and supported inside a fibre capillary, is studied theoretically and an iterative scheme developed to analyse its nonlinear optomechanical properties. Steady-state field distributions and mechanical deformation profiles are obtained, demonstrating that self-channelling is possible in realistic structures at launched powers as low as a few mW. The differential optical nonlinearity of the self-channelled mode can be as much as ten million times higher than the corresponding electronic Kerr nonlinearity. It is also intrinsically broadband, does not utilize resonant effects, can be viewed as a consequence of the extreme nonlocality of the mechanical response, and in fact is a notable example of a so-called accessible soliton.

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