Thermal-Lens Model Compared with the Sheik-Bahae Formalism in Interpreting Z-Scan Experiments on Lyotropic Liquid Crystals

Publication Title

Journal of the Optical Society of America B-Optical Physics

Publication Date


Document Type





single-beam, optical nonlinearities, refraction, nematics




We carried out Z-scan measurements on lyotropic liquid crystals and on lyotropic liquid crystals doped with ferrofluid. In these experiments, the sample is translated through the focal region of a focused Gaussian laser beam. The dependence of the far-field intensity on sample position due to intensity-dependent optical nonlinearities has been analyzed on the basis of the thermal-lens model of Gordon et al. and the Gaussian decomposition analysis of Sheik-Bahae et al. The thermal-lens model is nonlocal in space and time, whereas the Gaussian decomposition is predicated on a strictly local response. We compare the goodness of fit of the predictions of these models to experimental data, and we discuss limitations of these models in describing Z-scan experiments on systems with nonlocal response. (C) 2002 Optical Society of America.


This paper was published in the Journal of the Optical Society of America B and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSAB.19.001342. Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.

This document is currently not available here.