7 October 2014 Design and fabrication strategies for high transparency polymer nanocomposites with dynamic tunable optical response
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Optical sensors that are applied in conjunction with bright optical sources such as lasers typically have to be protected from damaging light exposure levels by the use of optical limiters. The principal aims for optical limiter materials are: (1) to block selectively the frequency of interest at high light levels and – at low light levels – exhibit high transmittance of optical frequencies in order to enable the fabrication of transparent yet protective windows; (2) a rapid response time when exposed to high light levels. Novel opportunities for the design of materials with dynamic switchable limiting properties are provided by optically transparent two-photon active polymer nanocomposites materials in which the scattering strength of embedded particle fillers can be dynamically modulated by the nonlinear absorption of a polymer host medium. In a first part this contribution will present recent results on the synthesis of silica nanoparticles that are index-matched to organic solvents by means of polymer functionalization. Effective medium theory will be shown to provide a valuable tool in predicting polymer-graft compositions that are index-matched to the embedding solvent thus resulting in dramatically reduced linear scattering cross section of the particle dispersant. The second part of this contribution will present preliminary results on the linear and nonlinear optical properties of particle dispersions in both solvent and solutions of two-photon active (TPA) dyes. For mixed solutions of TPA-dyes and index-matched particle fillers an increased limiting efficiency is observed while neat particles are found to be TPA inactive.
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Alei Dang, Alei Dang, Chin Ming Hui, Chin Ming Hui, Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Michael R. Bockstaller, Michael R. Bockstaller, "Design and fabrication strategies for high transparency polymer nanocomposites with dynamic tunable optical response", Proc. SPIE 9181, Light Manipulating Organic Materials and Devices, 91810U (7 October 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2062967; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2062967

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