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Disorder-enhanced nonlinear delocalization in segmented waveguide arrays

: Heinrich, Matthias; Keil, Robert; Lahini, Yoav; Naether, Uta; Dreisow, Felix; Tünnermann, Andreas; Nolte, Stefan; Szameit, Alexander

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New journal of physics. Online journal 14 (2012), July, Art. 073026, 11 pp.
ISSN: 1367-2630
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IOF ()

Nonlinearity and disorder in discrete systems give rise to fascinating dynamics in various fields of physics. Photonic lattices allow investigation of them in an optical context. The very nature of discrete propagation allows perfect reconstruction of arbitrary initial wave packets by introducing phase shifts to specific lattice sites. We investigate, both numerically and experimentally, the interplay of nonlinearity with this so-called segmentation imaging in the presence of disorder. We find that whereas in the linear regime perfect imaging is achieved for arbitrary amounts of coupling disorder, the onset of nonlinear self-focusing generally destroys imaging. Interestingly, the influence of Anderson localization in strongly disordered lattices renders the imaging significantly more susceptible to nonlinear perturbations.