Observation of Accelerating Wannier-Stark Beams in Optically Induced Photonic Lattices

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We generate optical beams analogous to the Wannier–Stark states in semiconductor superlattices and observe that the two main lobes of the WS beams self-bend (accelerate) along two opposite trajectories in a uniform one-dimensional photonic lattice. Such self-accelerating features exist only in the presence of the lattice and are not observed in a homogenous medium. Under the action of nonlinearity, however, the beam structure and acceleration cannot be preserved. Our experimental observations are in qualitative agreement with theoretical predictions.

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© 2014 Optical Society of America. Referenced here in compliance with publisher policies. Publisher's version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.39.001065