Publication # 006

D. Weaire, B. S. Wherrett, D. A. B. Miller and S. D. Smith, "Effect of Low-Power Nonlinear Refraction on Laser Beam Propagation in InSb," Optics Lett. 4, 331-333 (1979).

By use of an expansion in Gaussian functions we solve the problem of the propagation of a laser beam that has been passed through a thin slab of nonlinearly refracting material. We compare the theoretical results for beam profile with experimental measurements for the semiconductor InSb and confirm that self-defocussing has been observed by D. A. B. Miller, M. H. Mozolowski, A. Miller, and S. D. Smith [Opt. Commun. 27, 133 (1978)]. The deduced value for the nonlinear refractive index at ~5 K is -6 x 10-5cm2/W at 1886 cm-1. This implies a third-order optical nonlinearity chi(3) ~ 10-2 esu, much larger than any previously reported for a solid.

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