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Proceedings Paper

Optical switching materials with high damage threshold for space environments
Author(s): Abhijit Sarkar; Salma Rahman; Shamim Mirza; Petar R. Dvornic; George R. Rayfield; Edward W. Taylor
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Paper Abstract

Optical limiters are nonlinear optical devices that limit the amount of power or energy transmitted. They function through either optically-induced nonlinear absorption or refraction or a combination of the two. At low incident optical power or pulse energy, the transmission of the system is high enough to allow nominal operation of the system. At high incident optical power or pulse energy, the transmission decreases to protect sensitive components such as optical receivers or transmitters. The interest in optical power limiters (OPL) for use in the space environment is due to the increasingly large number of space based missions and applications that require laser protection. Temperature and space radiation-induced effects in optical and electronic materials are well known and they can cause disruption in OPL functions, or in the worst case, failure of the sensor. Therefore, designing materials that can withstand the space environment has been an area of intense exploration in recent years. Some of the best-performing optical limiters are materials containing chromophores that work via reverse saturable absorption, multiphoton absorption or nonlinear scattering mechanisms; however, such materials are difficult to prepare and have problems with long-term stability. In this paper, a novel type of polymeric OPL materials based on a multi-chromophore approach is described. The origin of the OPL properties in these materials and preliminary results of their effects of radiation on the OPL properties are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7467, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments III, 746708 (9 September 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.823877
Show Author Affiliations
Abhijit Sarkar, Michigan Molecular Institute (United States)
Salma Rahman, Michigan Molecular Institute (United States)
Shamim Mirza, Michigan Molecular Institute (United States)
Petar R. Dvornic, Michigan Molecular Institute (United States)
George R. Rayfield, Univ. of Oregon (United States)
Edward W. Taylor, International Photonics Consultants, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7467:
Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments III
Edward W. Taylor; David A. Cardimona, Editor(s)

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