All-optical power limiting

M. Potasek, S. Kim, D. Mclaughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We derived a numerical technique for the propagation of the electromagnetic field in a five-level reverse saturable absorber including the nonlinear Kerr effect and dispersion. The numerical method combines the split step beam propagation method and the Crank-Nicholson method. Using our numerical technique we observed new behavior, not previously observed nor predicted to our knowledge, including the temporal splitting caused by the dynamics of the carrier densities in a reverse saturable absorber and the enhancement of absorption due to the Kerr nonlinearity. Our numerical calculation enables the prediction of nonlinear absorption using material parameters such as the absorption cross-sections and decay rates. We can also investigate the interplay between the optical pulse properties such as the temporal pulse width, spatial radius, incident energy and the carrier dynamics and nonlinear absorption of the reverse saturable absorber.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-364
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Nonlinear Optical Physics and Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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