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Proceedings Paper

The role of intermolecular interactions in fabricating hardened electro-optic materials
Author(s): Larry R. Dalton; Aaron W. Harper; Jinghong Chen; Sam-Shajing Sun; Shane S. H. Mao; Sean M. Garner; Antao Chen; William H. Steier
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Paper Abstract

Until recently, the product of chromophore dipole moment, β, and molecular first hyperpolarizability, p, divided by chromophore molecular weight was considered to be an appropriate chromophore figure of merit. Substantial progress has been made designing and synthesizing chromophores characterized by large μβ values. If such high pp chromophores could be translated to hardened acentric polymer lattices with the same efficiency achieved for disperse red (azobenzene) chromophores then optical nonlinearities in excess of 50 pm/V could be expected. Although high μβ chromophores have been available for several years, such macroscopic optical nonlinearities have only beat recently realized. We demonstrated that the problem of translating microscopic to macroscopic optical nonlinearity can be traced to the attenuation of electric field polinginduced order by chromophore-chromophore electrostatic interactions. Such interactions are frequently treated within the approximations of London theory. We extend theoretical analysis to take into account the size and shapes of chromophores; such theory permits essentially quantitative prediction of variation of electro-optic coefficient with chromophore loading. Theory also suggests structural modification of chromophores to improve the maximum realizable optical nonlinearity as a function of chromophore loading and theoretical predictions have been experimentally realized in a number of cases leading to doubling and tripling of previously realized maximum electro-optic coefficient values. Chromophore-chromophore electrostatic interactions also contribute to aggregation and phase-separation which result in unacceptably high values of optical loss. Such interactions can also inhibit lattice hardening (e.g., thermosetting) reactions. A systematic analysis of such effects is presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 1997
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10290, Sol-Gel and Polymer Photonic Devices: A Critical Review, 102900F (29 July 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.279822
Show Author Affiliations
Larry R. Dalton, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Aaron W. Harper, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Jinghong Chen, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Sam-Shajing Sun, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Shane S. H. Mao, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Sean M. Garner, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Antao Chen, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
William H. Steier, Univ. of Southern California (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10290:
Sol-Gel and Polymer Photonic Devices: A Critical Review
Mark P. Andrews; S. Iraj Najafi, Editor(s)

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