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18 December 2002 Methods for estimating the refractive index profile at near infrared wavelengths of polymers for optical waveguides
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Methods that successfully predict the refractive index at near-infrared wavelengths of negatively birefringent polymer films for optical waveguide applications are presented. The starting point for these methods is a correlation based on connectivity indexes originally developed by Bicerano for the refractive index of isotropic polymers at visible wavelengths. This correlation is applied to a set of polyimides at near infrared wavelengths with modifications in order to improve its predictive power. The polyimides were synthesized by condensation of monomers to form the precursor poly(amic acid)s followed by imidization in solution. Solutions of the polyimides were then spin coated onto glass substrates and baked to produce films of 2-3 microns in thickness with a variable negative birefringence. The refractive index profiles of these films near 1320 nm were then measured in both the TE- and TM- modes using a prism-coupling technique. The average refractive index of these films was then compared to the prediction generated by the model. The agreement between the predicted and observed values has been sufficient to enable the rapid development of materials for optical waveguides without the need for many rounds of trial-and-error investigation. These techniques facilitate the development of specialized polymers for optical waveguide applications.
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Andrew J. Guenthner, Geoffrey A. Lindsay, Peter Zarras, Stephen Fallis, Joni M. Pentony, and Warren N. Herman "Methods for estimating the refractive index profile at near infrared wavelengths of polymers for optical waveguides", Proc. SPIE 4798, Linear and Nonlinear Optics of Organic Materials II, (18 December 2002);

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