Nonlinear Phase Shifts Using Second Order Nonlinearities

M. Sheik-Bahae, R. DeSalvo, D.J. Hagan, G. Assanto, G. Stegeman, and E.W. Van Stryland

A continuing problem in nonlinear optics has been to find third order materials with large, fast nonlinearities in spectral regions of low linear and nonlinear absorption. Typical applications of such materials require large nonlinear phase shifts. It has been known, but not widely appreciated, that second order nonlinear interactions lead to effective third order nonlinearities and nonlinear phase shifts in the fundamental beam. While such phenomena are implicitly included in the standard equations governing, for example, second-harmonic generation (SHG) and have been theoretically predicted previously, only recently has the phase distortion been studied in detail experimentally and theoretically.

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