optics, solitons, discrete solitons, waveguide arrays, nonlinear optics


The propagation dynamics of light in optical waveguide arrays is characteristic of that encountered in discrete systems. As a result, it is possible to engineer the diffraction properties of such structures, which leads to the ability to control the flow of light in ways that are impossible in continuous media. In this work, a detailed theoretical investigation of both linear and nonlinear optical wave propagation in one- and two-dimensional waveguide lattices is presented. The ability to completely overcome the effects of discrete diffraction through the mutual trapping of two orthogonally polarized coherent beams interacting in Kerr nonlinear arrays of birefringent waveguides is discussed. The existence and stability of such highly localized vector discrete solitons is analyzed and compared to similar scenarios in a single birefringent waveguide. This mutual trapping is also shown to occur within the first few waveguides of a semi-infinite array leading to the existence of vector discrete surface waves. Interfaces between two detuned semi-infinite waveguide arrays or waveguide array heterojunctions and their possible applications are also considered. It is shown that the detuning between the two arrays shifts the dispersion relation of one array with respect to the other. Consequently, these systems provide spatial filtering functions that may prove useful in future all-optical networks. In addition by exploiting the unique diffraction properties of discrete arrays, diffraction compensation can be achieved in a way analogous to dispersion compensation in dispersion managed optical fiber systems. Finally, it is demonstrated that both the linear (diffraction) and nonlinear dynamics of two-dimensional waveguide arrays are significantly more complex and considerably more versatile than their one-dimensional counterparts. As is the case in one-dimensional arrays, the discrete diffraction properties of these two-dimensional lattices can be effectively altered depending on the propagation Bloch k-vector within the first Brillouin zone. In general, this diffraction behavior is anisotropic and as a result, allows the existence of a new class of discrete elliptic solitons in the nonlinear regime. Moreover, such arrays support two-dimensional vector soliton states, and their existence and stability are also thoroughly explored in this work.


If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at

Graduation Date





Christodoulides, Demetrios


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Optics and Photonics

Degree Program









Release Date

January 2006

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)