Spatial solitons in periodic nanostructures

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We present the first-principles theory of the existence and stability of TE and TM spatial solitons in a subwavelength periodic semiconductor-dielectric structure. We have found that for the wavelength of 1550 nm and the interface separation close to and less than 100 nm the band structure of the linear TE and TM waves becomes similar to the band structure of a homogeneous medium. The properties of TE solitons change accordingly. However, the transverse profiles of the TM solitons continue to reflect the subwavelength geometry of the structure and develop dominant intensity peaks inside the low-index dielectric slots. Our stability analysis based on the linearized Maxwell equations indicates that the nonlinear TM waves can be approximated as the evanescently coupled modes of the slot waveguides with the low-index dielectric core and the high-index semiconductor cladding. Transition to the regime where the slot waveguides start to determine properties of TM waves is associated with the so-called Brewster condition.
Original languageEnglish
Article number053812
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review A: Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • Maxwell equations
  • optical waveguides
  • optical solitons
  • semiconductor-insulator boundaries
  • band structure
  • ab initio calculations
  • periodic structures


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