Self-trapping of optical beams in photorefractive (PR) materials at telecommunications wavelengths has been studied at
steady state in insulators such as SBN  and in semiconductor InP:Fe , CdTe . PR self-focusing and soliton
interactions in semiconductors find interesting applications in optical communications such as optical routing and
interconnections because of several advantages over insulators: their sensitivity to near-infrared wavelengths and shorter
response time. Photorefractive self focusing in InP:Fe is characterized as a function of beam intensity and temperature.
Transient self focusing is found to occur on two time scales for input intensities of tens of W/cm2 (one on the order of
tens of μs, one on the order of milliseconds). A theory developed describes the photorefractive self focusing in InP:Fe
and confirmed by steady state and transient regime measurements.
PR associated phenomena (bending and self focusing) are taking place in InP:Fe as fast as a μs for intensities on the
order of 10W/cm2 at 1.06 μm. Currently we are conducting more experiments in order to estimate the self focusing
response time at 1.55μm, to clarify the temporal dynamic of the self focusing and to build up a demonstrator of fast
optical routing by photorefractive spatial solitons interactions.
Photorefractive (PR) spatial soliton propagation hints that all optical routing can be achieved through soliton
interactions. This requires, however, fast build up and sensitivity to telecommunication wavelengths. We have
investigated the build up of infrared (1,06m) photorefractive solitons in iron doped indium phosphide (InP:Fe)
and shown that PR self focusing occurs at input powers of hundreds of W and intensities in the range of W/cm2,
showing a build up time down to the microsecond.