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Proceedings Paper

Space processing of biopolymer/metal composites for NLO applications
Author(s): Debra J. Trantolo; Marc G. Mogul; Donald L. Wise; Gary E. Wnek; Donald O. Frazier; Joseph D. Gresser
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Paper Abstract

Crystals grown in space have been shown to be of higher quality than 'earth-grown' crystals because defect-free specimens are obtained in the absence of gravity-fueled convection. Defect-free organic crystals are of particular interest because they can exhibit high optical nonlinearities. However, as these are molecular crystals, they tend to be brittle and cannot be easily fabricated into thin films or fibers as can polymer analogs. Polymers having a controlled supramolecular structure and morphology are even more promising candidates as nonlinear optical materials (NLOM). We have previously demonstrated the rationale for orienting biopolymers, materials with known supramolecular structure, in an electric field under microgravity conditions in order to optimize the nonlinearity of the biopolymer. Now focusing on the feasibility of improving upon the NLO activity of the biopolymer system by using a metal dopant, we report on the morphological characterization of electric field aligned polymer/silver colloid composites. By analogy to the microgravity processing of metal/ceramic alloys (known as 'cermets'), the resulting 'polymet' should benefit from homogeneous orientation of the minor metal phase within the polymer phase and further contribute to the potential of polymeric NLOM.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 1996
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2809, Space Processing of Materials, (12 July 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.244319
Show Author Affiliations
Debra J. Trantolo, Cambridge Scientific, Inc. (United States)
Marc G. Mogul, Cambridge Scientific, Inc. (United States)
Donald L. Wise, Northeastern Univ. (United States)
Gary E. Wnek, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (United States)
Donald O. Frazier, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Joseph D. Gresser, Cambridge Scientific, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2809:
Space Processing of Materials
Narayanan Ramachandran, Editor(s)

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