The research and development of organic materials for use in optical components and devices aims to take advantage of several unique properties of these materials, including their stability, tailorability, and flexibility. In this study, by carefully controlling the components, we have developed a material that offers significant advantages over common optical materials. Specifically, the new material has a high refractive index and is curable with ultraviolet (UV) light, solvent free, and transparent over a wide wavelength range. We applied the material to a substrate via spin coating, although other application methods are possible.
The production of optical components through press-patterning has received a large amount of attention. The low cost of replication and high throughput of the process provide the potential for low-cost optical components. Typically a metallic plate is patterned via electroplating or electroforming to produce a negative image on the plate. This plate is then pressed into the patternable material and subsequently treated to form the desired pattern in the organic material. Here we report our initial attempts at press-patterning structures into a UV-curable high refractive index material.
The performance of optoelectronic devices can be increased by incorporating a high refractive index layer into the system. This paper describes several potential high refractive index resin candidates. Our materials include the added advantages over other systems because the new materials are cationically photocurable and free flowing, have low shrinkage upon cure, have no (or little) volatile organic components, are applicable by a variety of methods (dip coating, roller coating, injection molding, or film casting), can be applied in a variety of thicknesses (10-100 m), are fast-curing, and possess robust physical properties. Particular attention focuses on the refractive index in the visible spectrum, light transmission, and formulation viscosity.