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Morphing discrete diffraction in nonlinear Mathieu lattices

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Abstract

Discrete optical gratings are essential components to customize structured light waves, determined by the band structure of the periodic potential. Beyond fabricating static devices, light-driven diffraction management requires nonlinear materials. Up to now, nonlinear self-action has been limited mainly to discrete spatial solitons. Discrete solitons, however, are restricted to the eigenstates of the photonic lattice. Here, we control light formation by nonlinear discrete diffraction, allowing for versatile output diffraction states. We observe morphing of diffraction structures for discrete Mathieu beams propagating nonlinearly in photosensitive media. The self-action of a zero-order Mathieu beam in a nonlinear medium shows characteristics similar to discrete diffraction in one-dimensional waveguide arrays. Mathieu beams of higher orders show discrete diffraction along curved paths, showing the fingerprint of respective two-dimensional photonic lattices.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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