14 September 2010 Mechanistic studies for optical switching materials for space environments
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Abstract
Optical power limiters (OPLs) are nonlinear optical (NLO) devices that limit the amount of energy transmitted in an optical system. At low incident optical power or pulse energy, the transmission of the system is high enough to allow nominal operation of the system. At high incident optical power or pulse energy, the transmission decreases to protect sensitive components such as optical receivers or transmitters. The interest OPLs for use in the space environment is due to the increasingly large number of space based missions and devices that require laser protection from laser beam is coming from, an enemy, misaligned laser in equipment, etc. Temperature and space radiation-induced effects in optical and electronic materials are well known and they can cause disruption in OPL functions, or in the worst case, failure of the sensor. Recently, certain hyperbranched polymer-based composites containing OPL chromophores have been developed that offer high OPL performance and have been shown to function in a simulated + space environment. One novel high performance polymer material containing carbon nanotubes (CNT) covalently attached to the polymer host is promising. Preliminary light scattering measurements suggest that nonlinear scattering is not the primary mechanism for OPL performance.
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George W. Rayfield, Abhijit Sarkar, Salma Rahman, James P. Godschalx, Edward W. Taylor, "Mechanistic studies for optical switching materials for space environments", Proc. SPIE 7817, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments IV, 781703 (14 September 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.861566; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.861566
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