Abstract

A new (to our knowledge) conceptual approach is advanced for finding approximations to nonlinear guided modes and spatial solitons. It shows that the standard stationary expression for the linear wave equation can be used to find nonlinear guided modes, provided that it is linked with a physically insightful consistency condition. Because nonlinear modes have their linear-optical waveguide counterpart, solutions can be borrowed directly from previous applications of the variational procedure to linear-optical waveguides. Examples include spatial solitons in a Kerr-law medium and idealized saturation nonlinearities.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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