A. Dreischuh, G. G. Paulus, F. Zacher, F. Grasbon, and H. Walther
Multiply charged optical vortex solitons (OVS) (m=1, . . . , 4) are generated in a thermal nonlinear medium with saturation. The respective soliton constants are found to be linearly proportional to the topological charges. Special attention is paid to the modulational instability, which is effectively suppressed by a moderate saturation but still remains an increasing function of the topological charge. For the particular experimental conditions, the recorded OVS profiles are found to be in good qualitative agreement with the numerical stationary solutions of the generalized nonlinear Schrödinger equation.