UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA ORLANDO CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN ELECTRO-OPTICS AND LASERS
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We have been performing careful measurements of the nonlinear optical properties of some organic dyes to determine their suitability for use in devices that can protect sensors against damage from high intensity laser radiation. Dyes that show large excited state absorption with small linear absorption are suitable for such devices. We investigated the nonlinearities for pulses from picoseconds to nanoseconds and find that, since the excited state absorption is cumulative, that the dyes can limit well for nanosecond pulses but not for picoseconds. However, when used in tandem with a second passive nonlinear optical material, we find that we can significantly increase the temporal range over which the device limits. In addition, we find that the dynamic range of limiting devices can be substantially increased using two elements without a significant increase in the optical limiting threshold. Optical Limiting, Nonlinear Optics, Organics.