Abstract

We analyze the effects of additional terms in the nonlinear Schrödinger equation for spatial solitons, directly derived from the Maxwell’s equations with the Kerr nonlinearity, on the shapes of bright and dark solitons with a fixed polarization. Combining analytical and numerical methods, we find that the additional terms always render the solitons broader. The most essential result is a fundamental limitation on the width of the subwavelength soliton: The ratio of the FWHM of the bright soliton to the wavelength cannot be smaller than 1/2, and the same ratio for the FWHM of the dark soliton cannot be smaller than 1/4.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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