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Opt Express. 2011 Oct 24;19(22):21977-88. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.021977.

Theoretical and experimental study of laser radiation propagating in a medium with thermally induced birefringence and cubic nonlinearity.

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  • 1Institute of Applied Physics RAS, Nizhny Novgorod, 603950, Russia.


We consider a problem of laser radiation propagating in a medium with birefringence of two types: linear birefringence independent of intensity and polarization, and intensity and polarization dependent circular birefringence caused by cubic nonlinearity. It is shown theoretically and experimentally that the efficiency of the broadly employed method of linear depolarization compensation by means of a 90° polarization rotator decreases with increasing В-integral (nonlinear phase incursion induced by cubic nonlinearity). The accuracy of polarization transformation by means of a half-wave and a quarter-wave plate also decreases if В > 1. By the example of a λ/4 plate it is shown that this parasitic effect may be suppressed considerably by choosing an optimal angle of inclination of the optical axis of the plate.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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