Abstract

The nonlinear coefficient $\gamma$ is central to the study of cubically nonlinear optical guided-wave structures. It is well understood for lossless waveguides, but less so for lossy systems. A number of methods for calculating $\gamma$ in lossy systems have been proposed, each resulting in different expressions. Here we identify the most accurate and practical expression for $\gamma$. We do so by applying the different expressions $\gamma$ to air–gold surface plasmon polariton modes in the interband region of gold and compare with a fully numerical iterative method. We thus resolve the outstanding issue of which expression for the nonlinear coefficient to use for lossy waveguides, enabling new insights into the nonlinear response of such systems.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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Supplementary Material (1)

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» Code 1       This MATLAB code reproduces Fig. 2.

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