Abstract

We report on the appearance of running transverse waves and zigzag instabilities in photorefractive counterpropagating two-wave mixing with a single external feedback mirror. These secondary structures are caused by the sluggish temporal response of the crystal through the buildup of a reflection grating. We derive a Landau-type equation for the critical mode amplitude above the primary instability threshold and compare it with the results from numerical simulations in the case of low and high optical aspect ratios. The effect of intensity-dependent relaxation time on the formation of the spatiotemporal structures is discussed.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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