Abstract

We report the observation of steady-state photorefractive vortex-screening solitons. As a singly charged circular vortex nested on a broad beam propagates through a biased strontium barium niobate crystal, it self-traps in both transverse dimensions despite the inherent anisotropy of the photorefractive nonlinearity. When the vortex beam is a doughnut-shaped narrow beam, it breaks up into two elongated slices (with a self-defocusing nonlinearity) or into two focused filaments (with a self-focusing nonlinearity). We demonstrate the optical guidance of a probe beam in a circular waveguide induced by the self-trapped vortex.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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