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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 May 18;98(20):203902. Epub 2007 May 18.

Experimental observation of modulation instability and optical spatial soliton arrays in soft condensed matter.

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SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS, United Kingdom.


In this Letter we report observations of optically induced self-organization of colloidal arrays in the presence of unpatterned counterpropagating evanescent waves. The colloidal arrays formed along the laser propagation axis are shown to be linked to the breakup of the incident field into optical spatial solitons, the lateral spacing of the arrays being related to modulation instability of the soft condensed matter system.

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