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Proceedings Paper

Giant faraday rotation in conjugated, rod-like molecules
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Paper Abstract

Faraday rotation is a magneto-optic phenomenon in which the polarization plane of light is rotated due to magnetically induced circular birefringence. It can be used in a variety of applications such as optical isolators, magnetic field sensors and current sensors. So far, most of the applications use inorganic, paramagnetic materials, which have Verdet constants up to millions of degrees per tesla per meter in the visible spectrum range. They are performant at telecommunication wavelengths, though with smaller Verdet constants, so thicker materials are used. Disadvantages of these materials are their magnetic saturation at low magnetic fields and their strong temperature dependency. Organic, diamagnetic materials on the contrary, saturate at much larger magnetic fields and are less temperature dependent. Furthermore, they also have the advantage of their flexibility and processability. Up to now, magneto-optical research on organic materials has mostly characterized materials with low magneto-optical activity in regions without absorption, but there are some exceptions. Some pi-conjugated polymers have been shown to have very large magneto-optic responses. Furthermore, a mesogenic, organic molecule has been reported with a very high Verdet constant. Conclusive explanations for these large Verdet constants are still lacking, but different possible hypotheses were proposed. In our ongoing search for organic materials with exceptional magneto-optical properties, we examined conjugated, rod-like molecules. Structural, these molecules show close resemblances with the earlier reported mesogenic, organic molecule. We measured giant Verdet constants for thin films of these molecules, reaching values almost as giant as the previous reported mesogenic molecule. These findings shed first preliminary light on a structure-activity relationship for giant Faraday rotation in diamagnetic organic materials.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 September 2016
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9939, Light Manipulating Organic Materials and Devices III, 99390O (23 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2235685
Show Author Affiliations
Rick Vleugels, KU Leuven (Belgium)
Ward Brullot, KU Leuven (Belgium)
Thierry Verbiest, KU Leuven (Belgium)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9939:
Light Manipulating Organic Materials and Devices III
Joy E. Haley; Jon A. Schuller; Manfred Eich; Jean-Michel Nunzi, Editor(s)

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