14 May 2008 Refractive index modification of polymers using nanosized dopants
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Abstract
The addition of nanosized inorganic or organic dopants to polymers allows the modification of the polymers physical properties enabling the realization of functionalized polymers with new application fields e.g. in microoptics. Exemplarily electron rich organic dopants, solved in polymers, cause a pronounced increase of the refractive index. Polymer based reactive resins like PMMA, solved in MMA, or unsaturated polyester, solved in styrene, can be cured to thermoplastic polymers. The resin's low viscous flow behaviour enables an easy composite formation by solving the organic dopants in the liquid up to a dopant content of 50 wt%, followed by solidification to a thermoplastic. The addition of simple organic molecules like phenanthrene or benzochinoline allows a refractive index elevation at 633 nm from 1.56 up to 1.60 retaining the good transmission properties. In comparison the refractive index of PMMA can be increased from the initial value of 1.49 up to values around 1.58 (@633 nm). All composites show an almost linear correlation between dopant content and refractive index. Using these composites devices like 3dB-couplers or an electrooptical modulator applying injection molded or hot embossed substrates have been realized.
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Thomas Hanemann, Johannes Boehm, Claas Müller, Eberhard Ritzhaupt-Kleissl, "Refractive index modification of polymers using nanosized dopants", Proc. SPIE 6992, Micro-Optics 2008, 69920D (14 May 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.778204; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.778204
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