Dynamic response and material processing of photorefractive polymer composites
AuthorHerlocker, Jon Alan
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation describes advances in the photorefractive dynamic response, and in the understanding of response limitations. In a PVK/ECZ based composite using a tolane chromophore and TNFDM sensitization, a photorefractive response time constant of 4 ms was observed at an applied field (Eₐ) of 95 V/μm with a writing fluence of 0.5 W/cm², while the birefringence response time was under a millisecond. This showed that the chromophore orientational response does not limit speed, and suggests further investigation of photogeneration and transport processes to improve dynamic response. Another segment of research investigated performance changes by exposure under working conditions. Photorefractive properties for composites using chromophores of varied ionization potential (I(p)) were characterized as a function of exposure at Eₐ = 80 V/um, up to 10⁴ J/cm² total optical field exposure. The response time and photoconductivity were found to fatigue for all samples, but a higher chromophore I(p) was correlated to greater stability. The four-wave mixing dependence upon E a showed a variation in trap density with exposure which verifies the role of the C₆₀ anion, the ionized sensitizer, as a photorefractive trap. The third segment of research was the proof-of-principle of a photorefractive injection molding process. Photorefractive properties of molded materials were verified by four-wave mixing and two-beam coupling measurements. At Eₐ = 95 V/μm a diffraction efficiency of 25-30% and a gain coefficient near 50 cm⁻¹ was observed. This shows industrial processing potential of these materials and provides a path from hand crafted devices to mass-production techniques, promoting commercial acceptance.
Degree ProgramGraduate College