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New Nonlinear Optical Film Processing

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Final rept. Aug 1987-Dec 1990

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This program concerned improving the linear optical properties i.e., transparency of ordered polymers. These materials have demonstrated high values of X3 but are not useful for NLO applications because their poor optical quality restricts their use as optical waveguides. Optical quality is defined as transparency and surface flatness, the specific goals of which are reduction in optical loss to less than 1 dBcm and a reduction in the surface roughness to an optically flat surface of less than 14 wavelength. Our approach to introducing these desired improvements in film quality has been to modify the film processing conditions. This program has examined many of the process steps involved in the fabrication of ordered polymer films to determine their effect on the films optical quality, hence, nonlinear optical performance. Initial efforts focused on poly p-phenylene benzobisthiazole PBZT, as this is the most technically advanced ordered polymer and it is with this particular ordered polymer Foster-Miller has had its most extensive film processing experience. More recent efforts have involved poly p-phenylene benzobisoxazole PBO. Over the course of the program, the optical loss, alpha, decreased from lO64 to about 660 cm-l. While significant, these losses are still prohibitive for NLO materials. Our processing changes have also led to 3-fold modulus improvements and nearly 60 percent strength improvements, to 13.9 GPa and 157 MPa, respectively, in biaxial PBO film. Nonlinear optics, ordered polymers, rigid rod polymers.

Subject Categories:

  • Physical Chemistry
  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Coatings, Colorants and Finishes
  • Optics

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