Photorefractive Materials and Applications

Authored by: Cornelia Denz , Vishnu Vardhan Krishnamachari

Encyclopedia of Optical and Photonic Engineering

Print publication date:  September  2015
Online publication date:  September  2015

Print ISBN: 9781439850978
eBook ISBN: 9781351247184
Adobe ISBN:


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The photorefractive effect is a nonlinear optical phenomenon in which the local index of refraction of a material is changed by the spatial variation of the incident light intensity. Since its discovery in 1966, the photorefractive effect has become the nonlinear optical mechanism of choice for optical image-processing applications. This is primarily because the effect can be easily applied to real-time parallel image processing using low-power lasers and existing bulk materials. The information-processing capacity of a photorefractive material is determined only by the diffraction limits of the optics and the three-dimensional nature of the optical beams interacting within the volume of the photorefractive materials.

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