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Proceedings Paper

Photonic and opto-electronic applications of polydiacetylene films photodeposited from solution and polydiacetylene copolymer networks
Author(s): Mark Steven Paley; Donald O. Frazier; David D. Smith; William K. Witherow; Hossin Ahmed Abdeldayem; Daniel B. Wolfe
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Paper Abstract

Polydiacetylenes (PDAs) are attractive materials for both electronic and photonic applications because of their highly conjugated electronic structures. They have been investigated for applications as both 1D conductors and nonlinear optical (NLO) materials. One of the chief limitations to the use of PDAs has been the inability to readily process them into useful forms such as films and fibers. In our laboratory we have developed a novel process for obtaining amorphous films of a PDA derived from 2- methyl-4-nitroaniline using photodeposition with UV light from monomer solutions onto transparent substrates. Photodeposition from solution provides a simple technique for obtaining PDA films in any desired pattern with good optical quality. This technique has been used to produce PDA films that show potential for optical applications such as holographic memory storage and optical limiting, as well as third-order NLO applications such as all-optical refractive index modulation, phase modulation and switching. Additionally, copolymerization of diacetylenes with other monomers such as methacrylates provides a means to obtain materials with good processibility. Such copolymers can be spin cast to form films, or drawn by either melt or solution extrusion into fibers. These films or fibers can then be irradiated with UV to photopolymerize the diacetylene units to form a highly stable cross-linked PDA-copolymer network. If such films are electrically poled while being irradiated, they can achieve the asymmetry necessary for second-order NLO applications such as electro-optic switching. On Earth, formation of PDAs by the above mentioned techniques suffers from defects and inhomogeneities caused by convective flows that can arise during processing. By studying the formation of these materials in the reduced-convection, diffusion- controlled environment of space we hope to better understand the factors that affect their processing, and thereby, their nature and properties. Ultimately it may even be feasibly to conduct space processing of PDAs for technological applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 August 1998
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3388, Advances in Optical Information Processing VIII, (25 August 1998);
Show Author Affiliations
Mark Steven Paley, Universities' Space Research Association (United States)
Donald O. Frazier, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
David D. Smith, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
William K. Witherow, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Hossin Ahmed Abdeldayem, Universities' Space Research Association (United States)
Daniel B. Wolfe, Rice Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3388:
Advances in Optical Information Processing VIII
Dennis R. Pape, Editor(s)

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