WIAS Preprint No. 1891, (2013)

Saturation of the all-optical Kerr effect in solids


  • Borchers, Bastian
  • Brée, Carsten
  • Birkholz, Simon
  • Demircan, Ayhan
  • Steinmeyer, Günter

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 78A60

2008 Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme

  • 42.65.-k 42.65.An 42.65.Jx 42.65.Hw


  • Nonlinear Optics, All-optical Kerr effect, Pulse compression




We discuss the influence of the higher-order Kerr effect (HOKE) in wide band gap solids at extreme intensities below the onset of optically induced damage. Using different theo- retical models, we employ multiphoton absorption rates to compute the nonlinear refractive index by a Kramers-Kronig transform. Within this theoretical framework we provide an esti- mate for the appearance of significant deviations from the standard optical Kerr effect pre- dicting a linear index change with intensity. We discuss the role of the observed saturation behavior in practically relevant situations, including Kerr lens mode-locking and supercon- tinuum generation in photonic crystal fibers. Furthermore we present experimental data from a multi-wave mixing experiment in BaF2 which can be explained by the appearance of the HOKE.

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