Light beams and light pulses (in general any wave packet) tend, in a natural way, to broad as they propagate in a linear material. Optical solitons are beams that do not suffer broadening as they propagate in a nonlinear material. Spatial optical solitons are beams where the natural diffraction is compensated by a self induced refractive index change in the media, creating its own waveguide.
The importance of spatial solitons is their capacity to create its own waveguide (like optical fibers). The fact that a spatial soliton can creates a refractive index change in the media, following its intensity profile, allows that other beam can be confined inside it. As a result, light guiding light, allows thinking that spatial solitons can be used as active and passive elements of interconnection in all optical communication systems.
In this work we present a phenomenological, numerical and experimental study on the generation and properties of spatial solitons in different media, but that can be describe by the nonlinear Schroedinger equation. In particular we are going to focus in that solitons that can be generated using cw light beams; this means that the response time of the nonlinearity in the media is larger than milliseconds.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.