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High-Voltage Poling of a Bulk Sample of Disperse Red 1 Polymethylmethacrylate Guest-Host Polymer for U.S. Army Electro-optical Applications

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Conference paper

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Much attention has been paid in recent years to poling thin-film doped polymers for electro-optics applications, mostly in the area of telecommunications switching devices. However, there are applications where a larger thickness of guest-host polymer results in enhanced performance of the electro-optic device, such as in terahertz THz generation. The thicker path length available in bulk poled polymers will allow for improved THz power, sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratio in both THz generators and detectors. Large area Pockels cells constructed from electro-optic EO guest-host polymers have uses as high speed modulators and shutters, and any application requiring a large d33 or r33 will potentially benefit from bulk-poled guest-host polymer systems. For large-aperture applications, the optical path length is longer and both poling and operating fields must still be transverse to the direction of light propagation which presents a tremendous challenge in building devices. Given the limitations of thin-film poling for fabricating large-aperture devices, the fabrication of a thick EO polymer slab with the proper orientation is an important goal. Our proposed solution is to pole a thick slab, cut, polish and re-orient 90 degrees. As a first step towards testing our proposed solution, we describe for the first time the fabrication and poling of a 700 micrometer thick bulk piece of polymethylmethacrylate PMMA doped with various concentrations of Disperse Red 1 DR1. Maker fringe analysis will demonstrate that under the poling fields currently available to us 57 Vmicrometer to 71 Vmicrometer, that substantial ordering of the DR1 chromophores is occurring, resulting in birefringence and significant d33 and r33 values.

Subject Categories:

  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment
  • Electrooptical and Optoelectronic Devices

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