Self-written Waveguides in Bulk Photosensitive Materials


Principal Investigator

Martijn de Sterke

School of Physics,

University of Sydney

Aphotosensitive material is like photographic film: its properties at some position depend on the total
dose of light intensity received there. In this project we have studied numerically the properties of photosensitive glass when it is illuminated by a beam of light. Now the light beam affects the properties of the glass, and these changes themselves modify the propagation of the light beam. Thus in a photosensitive material a light beam affects its own propagation.
In this study we have investigated numerically this process. We have found that it leads to the self-writing of a waveguide structure in the material. We have also elucidated some of the details of this process.



Leon Poladian

Optical Fiber Technology Center,

University of Sydney

Tanya Monro

School of Physcis

University of Sydney




g63 - VPP


What are the results to date and the future of this work?

Some of the key features of the growth of self-written waveguides involves the formation of local maxima in the intensity and in the refractive index; we refer to these as "eyes." We have developed an approximate theory for the formation and subsequent movement of these eyes. The use of the VPP300 supercomputer has contributed to allowing us to compare these approximate results to numerical results, confirming that our theory is correct.

The work has now progressed to the experimental stage, and, for the moment, no additional supercomputer time is required.

- Appendix B



What computational techniques are used?

We used a second order split-step Fourier method in combination with a second-order update of the refractive index


T. M. Monro, L. Poladian, and C. Martijn de Sterke, Analysis of self-written waveguides in photopolymers and photosensitive materials, Phys. Rev. E. 57, 1104-1113 (1998).

Appendix B -