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Proceedings Paper

What the ultimate polymeric electro-optic materials will be: guest-host, crosslinked, or side-chain?
Author(s): Cheng Zhang; Hua Zhang; Min-Cheol Oh; Larry Raymond Dalton; William H. Steier
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Paper Abstract

Material processing and device fabrication of many different electro-optic (EO) polymers developed at USC are reviewed. Detailed discussion is given to guest-host CLD/APCs, crosslinking perfluorocyclobutane (PFCB) polymer CX1, and thermally stable side-chain polymers CX2 and CX3. Excellent EO performance (1.4V at 1.31 μm, 2.1 V at 1.55 μm) was achieved in CLD/APC Mach-Zehnder modulators (2-cm, push-pull). CLD/APCs also possess low optical losses (1.2 dB/cm in slab waveguides and in thick core channel waveguides). However, the guest-host materials only have limited thermal stability (110-132 °C in short term, <60 °C in long term) and require special techniques in device fabrication. The crosslinking polymer CX1 was able to provide long-term stability at 85 oC when fully cured. It also has a low optical loss (comparable to CLD/APCs) before curing and decent EO coefficient when poled at 180 °C. However, after the films were poled at the crosslinking temperatures (200 °C or above), the transmissions of the waveguides and EO activity became very poor due to poling-induced chromophore degradation. By judicial molecular design of both chromophore and monomer structures to suppress thermal motion of polymer segments, we were able to realize the same or even better thermal stability in side-chain polymers CX2 and CX3. Since no curing is needed, devices can be poled at their optimal poling temperatures, and all good properties can be obtained simultaneously. Despite the excellent solubility in chlorinated solvents, these side-chain polymers are resistant to some other organic solvents or solutions such as acetone, photoresist and various UV-curable liquids.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 July 2003
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 4991, Organic Photonic Materials and Devices V, (14 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.479445
Show Author Affiliations
Cheng Zhang, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Hua Zhang, Pacific Wave Industries, Inc. (United States)
Min-Cheol Oh, Zen Photonics Co., Ltd. (South Korea)
Larry Raymond Dalton, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
William H. Steier, Univ. of Southern California (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4991:
Organic Photonic Materials and Devices V
James G. Grote; Toshikuni Kaino, Editor(s)

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