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22 January 1997 Cross-linked polyimides for integrated optics
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We have investigated a promising class of polyimide materials for both passive and active electro-optic devices, namely crosslinkable polyimides. These fluorinated polyimides are soluble in the imidized form and are both thermally and photo-crosslinkable leading to easy processability into waveguide structures and the possibility of stable electro-optic properties. We have fabricated channel and slab waveguides and investigated the mechanism of optical propagation loss using photothermal deflection spectroscopy and waveguide loss spectroscopy, and found the losses to arise from residual absorption due to the formation of charge transfer states. The absorption is inhibited by fluorination leading to propagation losses as low as 0.3 dB/cm in the near infrared. Because of the ability to photocrosslink, channel waveguides are fabricated using a simple wet-etch process. Channel waveguides so formed are observed to have no excess loss over slab structures. Solubility followed by thermal cross-linking allows the formation of multilayer structures. We have produced electro-optic polymers by doping with the nonlinear optical chromophores, DCM and DADC; and a process of concurrent poling and thermal crosslinking. Multilayer structures have been investigated and poling fields optimized in the active layer by doping the cladding with an anti-static agent. The high glass-transition temperature and cross-linking leads to very stable electro-optic properties. We are currently building electro-optic modulators based on these materials. Progress and results in this area also are reported.
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Kenneth D. Singer, Tony C. Kowalczyk, Hung D. Nguyen, Allyson J. Beuhler, and David A. Wargowski "Cross-linked polyimides for integrated optics", Proc. SPIE 3006, Optoelectronic Integrated Circuits, (22 January 1997);

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