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Design and Synthesis of Interpenetrating Polymer Networks for Second-Order Nonlinear Optics.

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Technical rept.,

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There has been a tremendous recent interest in the development of second-order nonlinear optical NLO polymeric materials for photonic applications. However, a major drawback of second-order NLO polymers that prevents them from being used in device applications is the instability of their electric field induced dipolar alignment. The randomization of the dipole orientation leads to the decay of second-order optical nonlinearities. Numerous efforts have been made to increase the stability of the second-order NLO properties of polymers. The search for new approaches to develop NLO polymers with optimal properties has been an active research area since the past decade. A novel approach, combining the hybrid properties of high glass transition temperatures, extensively crosslinked networks, and permanent entanglements, based on interpenetrating polymer networks IPN is introduced to develop stable second-order NLO materials. Two types of IPN systems are prepared and their properties are investigated. The designing criteria and the rationale for the selection of polymers are discussed. The IPN samples show excellent temporal stability at elevated temperatures. Long term stability of the optical nonlinearity at 100 C has been observed in these materials. Temporal stability of the NLO properties of these IPNs is synergistically enhanced. Relaxation behavior of the optical nonlinearity of an IPN system has been studied and compared with that of a typical guesthost system. The improved temporal stability of the second-order NLO properties of this IPN system is a result of the combination of the high rigidity of the polymer backbones, crosslinked matrices, and permanent entanglements of the polymer networks. A slight modification of the chemical structure resulted in an improvement of the optical quality of the sample.

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  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Optics

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