Encyclopedia … combined with a great Buyer's Guide!

Sponsors:     and others

Nonlinearities

Definition: optical phenomena involving a nonlinear response to a driving light field

More specific term: parametric nonlinearities

German: Nichtlinearitäten

Categories: fiber optics and waveguides, nonlinear optics

How to cite the article; suggest additional literature

Author:

Lasers can be used for the generation of light with very high optical intensities. These can give rise to a number of nonlinear optical effects (→ nonlinear optics), the most important of which are:

There are also various other effects which are not directly based on optical nonlinearities, but are nevertheless affecting optical phenomena:

In optical fiber technology, optical nonlinearities are of high interest. In fibers there is a particularly long interaction length combined with the high intensity resulting from a small mode area. Therefore, nonlinearities can have strong effects in fibers. Particularly the effects related to the χ(3) nonlinearity – Kerr effect, Raman scattering, Brillouin scattering – are often important, despite the relatively weak intrinsic nonlinear coefficient of silica: either they act as essential nonlinearities for achieving certain functions (e.g. pulse compression), or they constitute limiting effects in high-power fiber lasers and amplifiers.

Usually, the strength of nonlinear effects is determined by the peak power. However, there are cases where stronger effects occur for lower peak powers, as explained in a Spotlight article.

Strong nonlinearities also occur at intensities which are high enough to cause ionization in the medium. This can lead to optical breakdown, possibly even associated with laser-induced damage of the material. In gases, extremely high optical intensities can be applied, which can lead e.g. to high harmonic generation.

Questions and Comments from Users

Here you can submit questions and comments. As far as they get accepted by the author, they will appear above this paragraph together with the author’s answer. The author will decide on acceptance based on certain criteria. Essentially, the issue must be of sufficiently broad interest.

Please do not enter personal data here; we would otherwise delete it soon. (See also our privacy declaration.) If you wish to receive personal feedback or consultancy from the author, please contact him e.g. via e-mail.

Your question or comment:

Spam check:

  (Please enter the sum of thirteen and three in the form of digits!)

By submitting the information, you give your consent to the potential publication of your inputs on our website according to our rules. (If you later retract your consent, we will delete those inputs.) As your inputs are first reviewed by the author, they may be published with some delay.

Bibliography

[1]G. P. Agrawal, Nonlinear Fiber Optics, 4th edn., Academic Press, New York (2007)
[2]R. Paschotta, tutorial on "Passive Fiber Optics", Part 11: Nonlinearities of Fibers

(Suggest additional literature!)

See also: nonlinear optics, effective nonlinear coefficient, laser-induced breakdown, nonlinear crystal materials, nonlinear frequency conversion, nonlinear polarization, nonlinear index, saturable absorbers, fibers, The Photonics Spotlight 2007-09-01
and other articles in the categories fiber optics and waveguides, nonlinear optics

preview

If you like this page, please share the link with your friends and colleagues, e.g. via social media:

These sharing buttons are implemented in a privacy-friendly way!