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Special Issue "Polymers for Optical Applications"

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A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. William H. Steier

Department of Electrical Engineering - Electrophysics, University of Southern California, 920 W. 37th Pl., Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 213 740 8684
Interests: electro-optic polymers; high bandwidth polymer optical modulators; polymer waveguides; resonant polymer and lithium niobate photonic devices; optical sensors; non-linear optical effects and devices in polymers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue will focus on the current state-of-the-art in the applications of polymers in optics and photonics. Polymers have now become widespread in their applications in optics, electro-optics, and photonics and this issue will serve to summarize the field and describe the latest research results. Papers are sought which discuss the latest research in this area and/or review the state of the research in selected areas. Special emphasis will be give to applications in integrated and fiber optics. Papers are sought on research results in conventional optical components, polymer lasers, integrated optics including waveguide fabrication and measurements, single or multimode plastic optical fiber, electro-optic and nonlinear optical polymers including polymer synthesis, modulators and switches and NLO devices, thermo-optical devices, optically based sensors, and the long term stability of polymer photonic devices and components. The hybrid applications of polymers in optics which show the combination of polymer integrated optics with high speed electronics and/or other optical materials such as semi-conductors and crystalline materials are also sought. Low cost fabrication of large area polymer integrated circuits by molding or embossing show great promise and papers which discuss these approaches and give current research results and show of the possibilities for low cost manufacture will be considered.

Prof. Dr. William H. Steier
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • electro-optic polymer materials and devices
  • polymer waveguides
  • polymer integrated optics
  • plastic optical fiber
  • polymer thermo-optics
  • polymer optical components
  • polymer optical sensors
  • polymer lasers

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Synthesis Parameters on Particle Size and Photoluminescence Characteristics of Ligand Capped Tb3+:LaF3
Polymers 2011, 3(4), 2039-2052; doi:10.3390/polym3042039
Received: 11 October 2011 / Revised: 11 November 2011 / Accepted: 17 November 2011 / Published: 29 November 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (815 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Organic ligand surface-treated Tb3+:LaF3 was synthesized in water and methanol for subsequent incorporation into polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) via solution-precipitation chemistry in order to produce optically active polymer nanocomposites. Nanoparticle agglomerate diameters ranged from 388 ± 188 nm when synthesized in
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Organic ligand surface-treated Tb3+:LaF3 was synthesized in water and methanol for subsequent incorporation into polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) via solution-precipitation chemistry in order to produce optically active polymer nanocomposites. Nanoparticle agglomerate diameters ranged from 388 ± 188 nm when synthesized in water and 37 ± 2 nm when synthesized in methanol. Suspension stability is paramount for producing optically transparent materials. Methanol nanoparticle synthesized at a pH of 3 exhibited the smallest agglomerate size. Optical spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, scanning transmission electron microscopy, and zeta potential analysis were used to characterize the particles synthesized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Optical Applications)
Open AccessArticle Dependence of Optical and Microstructure Properties of Thiol-Capped Silver Nanoparticles Embedded in Polymeric Matrix
Polymers 2011, 3(4), 1794-1804; doi:10.3390/polym3041794
Received: 28 July 2011 / Revised: 28 September 2011 / Accepted: 12 October 2011 / Published: 13 October 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (428 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Thiol-capped silver nanoparticles were prepared by in situ thermal decomposition of different silver(I)-thiolates precursors in a polymeric matrix. Depending on the structure of the organic coating, contact-free distribution of metal nanoparticles or nanoparticles aggregates were achieved. The structure and morphology of nanocomposites was
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Thiol-capped silver nanoparticles were prepared by in situ thermal decomposition of different silver(I)-thiolates precursors in a polymeric matrix. Depending on the structure of the organic coating, contact-free distribution of metal nanoparticles or nanoparticles aggregates were achieved. The structure and morphology of nanocomposites was analyzed by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD). Nanoparticles’ interaction was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and UV-Visible spectroscopy. In particular, only silver nanoparticles coated by n-alkyl thiols aggregated, while a contact-free dispersion was obtained by cyclohexyl thiol-capped silver nanoparticles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Optical Applications)
Open AccessArticle Polymeric Optical Code-Division Multiple-Access (CDMA) Encoder and Decoder Modules
Polymers 2011, 3(3), 1554-1564; doi:10.3390/polym3031554
Received: 1 August 2011 / Revised: 31 August 2011 / Accepted: 13 September 2011 / Published: 19 September 2011
PDF Full-text (631 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We propose a low cost polymeric optical waveguides-based optical CDMA encoder and decoder modules. The structures of the optical CDMA encoder and decoder modules are presented. The performance of the optical CDMA encoder and decoder modules is simulated using 10-chip binary phase-shift keying
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We propose a low cost polymeric optical waveguides-based optical CDMA encoder and decoder modules. The structures of the optical CDMA encoder and decoder modules are presented. The performance of the optical CDMA encoder and decoder modules is simulated using 10-chip binary phase-shift keying (BPSK) coding schemes. The optical CDMA encoder and decoder modules can effectively transmit and recover optical CDMA data streams. The SNR of the received signal is analyzed and determined to be primarily from the cross correlation with other channels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Optical Applications)
Open AccessArticle Investigation of Second-Harmonic Generation and Molecular Orientation in Electrostatically Self-Assembled Thin Films
Polymers 2011, 3(3), 1297-1309; doi:10.3390/polym3031297
Received: 1 July 2011 / Accepted: 16 August 2011 / Published: 18 August 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (463 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We report the observation and measurement of second-harmonic generation in self-assembled ultra thin film nonlinear optical materials using a femtosecond high repetition rate laser system. Second-harmonic intensity, as a function of the incident angle in these films, has been measured using incident p-polarized
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We report the observation and measurement of second-harmonic generation in self-assembled ultra thin film nonlinear optical materials using a femtosecond high repetition rate laser system. Second-harmonic intensity, as a function of the incident angle in these films, has been measured using incident p-polarized and s-polarized optical beam components. The second-order nonlinear optical susceptibilities of the thin films have also been determined. Using a curve fitting method and a crystal reference material, we have obtained second-order susceptibilities c333 = 6.17 ± 0.18 pm/V and c311 = 0.68 ± 0.02 pm/V at a fundamental wavelength of 1,200 nm. Based on linear molecular model approximation, we have also used the fitted data to investigate the average orientation distribution of the chromophore dipoles in the self-assembled film. The result indicates that the average tilt angle of the chromophore dipoles away from the substrate normal line is 25.2° ± 0.8°. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Optical Applications)
Open AccessArticle Simplified Reflection Fabry-Perot Method for Determination of Electro-Optic Coefficients of Poled Polymer Thin Films
Polymers 2011, 3(3), 1310-1324; doi:10.3390/polym3031310
Received: 15 July 2011 / Revised: 12 August 2011 / Accepted: 16 August 2011 / Published: 18 August 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1001 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We report a simplified reflection mode Fabry-Perot interferometry method for determination of electro-optic (EO) coefficients of poled polymer thin films. Rather than fitting the detailed shape of the Fabry-Perot resonance curve, our simplification involves a technique to experimentally determine the voltage-induced shift in
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We report a simplified reflection mode Fabry-Perot interferometry method for determination of electro-optic (EO) coefficients of poled polymer thin films. Rather than fitting the detailed shape of the Fabry-Perot resonance curve, our simplification involves a technique to experimentally determine the voltage-induced shift in the angular position of the resonance minimum. Rigorous analysis based on optical properties of individual layers of the multilayer structure is not necessary in the data analysis. Although angle scans are involved, the experimental setup does not require a θ-2θ rotation stage and the simplified analysis is an advantage for polymer synthetic efforts requiring quick and reliable screening of new materials. Numerical and experimental results show that our proposed method can determine EO coefficients to within an error of ~8% if poled values for the refractive indices are used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Optical Applications)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Moisture on the Orientation Birefringence of Cellulose Esters
Polymers 2011, 3(2), 955-966; doi:10.3390/polym3020955
Received: 22 April 2011 / Revised: 1 June 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (573 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Orientation birefringence and its wavelength dispersion are studied for hot-drawn films of cellulose esters such as cellulose triacetate (CTA), cellulose diacetate (CDA), and cellulose acetate propionate (CAP) exposed to three different humidities of environments. Hot-drawn CTA films show negative birefringence that decreases with
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Orientation birefringence and its wavelength dispersion are studied for hot-drawn films of cellulose esters such as cellulose triacetate (CTA), cellulose diacetate (CDA), and cellulose acetate propionate (CAP) exposed to three different humidities of environments. Hot-drawn CTA films show negative birefringence that decreases with increasing wavelength. On the other hand, CDA and CAP films show positive birefringence that increases with increasing wavelength, i.e., the so-called extraordinary wavelength dispersion of birefringence. Upon exposure to high humidity environment, the orientation birefringence of CDA and CAP decreases. The decrease is prominent for the samples containing a large amount of water. CTA, however, shows an increase in magnitude of its negative orientation birefringence with increasing moisture content. The results can be explained by the increase of the polarizability anisotropy perpendicular to the stretching direction in the cellulose esters. It is found from ATR-FTIR measurements that hydrogen bonds are formed between carbonyl groups of cellulose esters and water molecules. Considering that orientation birefringence of cellulose esters is determined mainly by ester groups, the formation of hydrogen bonds contributes to the polarizability anisotropy, thus affecting the orientation birefringence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Optical Applications)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Guiding Light in Electro-Optic Polymers
Polymers 2011, 3(4), 1591-1599; doi:10.3390/polym3041591
Received: 20 August 2011 / Accepted: 20 September 2011 / Published: 26 September 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (535 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electro-optic polymers have unique photonic, electro-optic and mechanical properties that make them attractive to use in a wide range of devices starting from ultra-high bandwidth light modulators for optical communications to miniature low power components for on-chip optical interconnects. The main building blocks
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Electro-optic polymers have unique photonic, electro-optic and mechanical properties that make them attractive to use in a wide range of devices starting from ultra-high bandwidth light modulators for optical communications to miniature low power components for on-chip optical interconnects. The main building blocks of those devices are optical waveguides, that due to versatility of the polymers can be fabricated as either traditional multi-layer polymer structures, silicon nano-slots filled with the polymer, or dynamically created waveguides based on field-induced guiding. In this paper we cover various types of waveguides and analyze their optimum designs depending on application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Optical Applications)
Open AccessReview Theory-Guided Design of Organic Electro-Optic Materials and Devices
Polymers 2011, 3(3), 1325-1351; doi:10.3390/polym3031325
Received: 15 July 2011 / Revised: 2 August 2011 / Accepted: 16 August 2011 / Published: 19 August 2011
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (1100 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Integrated (multi-scale) quantum and statistical mechanical theoretical methods have guided the nano-engineering of controlled intermolecular electrostatic interactions for the dramatic improvement of acentric order and thus electro-optic activity of melt-processable organic polymer and dendrimer electro-optic materials. New measurement techniques have permitted quantitative determination
[...] Read more.
Integrated (multi-scale) quantum and statistical mechanical theoretical methods have guided the nano-engineering of controlled intermolecular electrostatic interactions for the dramatic improvement of acentric order and thus electro-optic activity of melt-processable organic polymer and dendrimer electro-optic materials. New measurement techniques have permitted quantitative determination of the molecular order parameters, lattice dimensionality, and nanoscale viscoelasticity properties of these new soft matter materials and have facilitated comparison of theoretically-predicted structures and thermodynamic properties with experimentally-defined structures and properties. New processing protocols have permitted further enhancement of material properties and have facilitated the fabrication of complex device structures. The integration of organic electro-optic materials into silicon photonic, plasmonic, and metamaterial device architectures has led to impressive new performance metrics for a variety of technological applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Optical Applications)
Open AccessReview Polymer-Optical-Fiber Lasers and Amplifiers Doped with Organic Dyes
Polymers 2011, 3(3), 1162-1180; doi:10.3390/polym3031162
Received: 16 June 2011 / Revised: 12 July 2011 / Accepted: 22 July 2011 / Published: 25 July 2011
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polymer optical fibers (POFs) doped with organic dyes can be used to make efficient lasers and amplifiers due to the high gains achievable in short distances. This paper analyzes the peculiarities of light amplification in POFs through some experimental data and a computational
[...] Read more.
Polymer optical fibers (POFs) doped with organic dyes can be used to make efficient lasers and amplifiers due to the high gains achievable in short distances. This paper analyzes the peculiarities of light amplification in POFs through some experimental data and a computational model capable of carrying out both power and spectral analyses. We investigate the emission spectral shifts and widths and on the optimum signal wavelength and pump power as functions of the fiber length, the fiber numerical aperture and the radial distribution of the dopant. Analyses for both step-index and graded-index POFs have been done. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Optical Applications)
Open AccessReview Exploit the Bandwidth Capacities of the Perfluorinated Graded Index Polymer Optical Fiber for Multi-Services Distribution
Polymers 2011, 3(3), 1006-1028; doi:10.3390/polym3031006
Received: 12 May 2011 / Revised: 15 June 2011 / Accepted: 27 June 2011 / Published: 29 June 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1341 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The study reported here deals with the exploitation of perfluorinated graded index polymer optical fiber bandwidth to add further services in a home/office network. The fiber properties are exhibited in order to check if perfluorinated graded index plastic optical fiber (PFGI-POF) is suitable
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The study reported here deals with the exploitation of perfluorinated graded index polymer optical fiber bandwidth to add further services in a home/office network. The fiber properties are exhibited in order to check if perfluorinated graded index plastic optical fiber (PFGI-POF) is suitable to support a multiplexing transmission. According to the high bandwidth length of plastic fibers, both at 850 nm and 1,300 nm, the extension of the classical baseband existing network is proposed to achieve a dual concept, allowing the indoor coverage of wireless signals transmitted using the Radio over Fiber technology. The simultaneous transmission of a 10 GbE signal and a wireless signal is done respectively at 850 nm and 1,300 nm on a single plastic fiber using wavelength division multiplexing commercially available devices. The penalties have been evaluated both in digital (Bit Error Rate measurement) and radiofrequency (Error Vector Magnitude measurement) domains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Optical Applications)
Open AccessReview Integrated Photonic Devices Incorporating Low-Loss Fluorinated Polymer Materials
Polymers 2011, 3(3), 975-997; doi:10.3390/polym3030975
Received: 18 April 2011 / Revised: 8 June 2011 / Accepted: 22 June 2011 / Published: 24 June 2011
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (846 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Low-loss polymer materials incorporating fluorinated compounds have been utilized for the investigation of various functional optical devices useful for optical communication and optical sensor systems. Since reliability issues concerning the polymer device have been resolved, polymeric waveguide devices have been gradually adopted for
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Low-loss polymer materials incorporating fluorinated compounds have been utilized for the investigation of various functional optical devices useful for optical communication and optical sensor systems. Since reliability issues concerning the polymer device have been resolved, polymeric waveguide devices have been gradually adopted for commercial application systems. The two most successfully commercialized polymeric integrated optic devices, variable optical attenuators and digital optical switches, are reviewed in this paper. Utilizing unique properties of optical polymers which are not available in other optical materials, novel polymeric optical devices are proposed including widely tunable external cavity lasers and integrated optical current sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Optical Applications)
Open AccessReview Brillouin Scattering in Polymer Optical Fibers: Fundamental Properties and Potential Use in Sensors
Polymers 2011, 3(2), 886-898; doi:10.3390/polym3020886
Received: 15 April 2011 / Revised: 9 May 2011 / Accepted: 25 May 2011 / Published: 26 May 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (364 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We review the fundamental properties of Brillouin scattering in a perfluorinated graded-index polymer optical fiber (PFGI-POF) with 120 μm core diameter. The experiments were performed at 1.55 μm telecommunication wavelength. The Brillouin frequency shift (BFS) and the Brillouin bandwidth were 2.83 GHz and
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We review the fundamental properties of Brillouin scattering in a perfluorinated graded-index polymer optical fiber (PFGI-POF) with 120 μm core diameter. The experiments were performed at 1.55 μm telecommunication wavelength. The Brillouin frequency shift (BFS) and the Brillouin bandwidth were 2.83 GHz and 105 MHz, respectively. The Brillouin gain coefficient was calculated to be 3.09 × 10−11 m/W, which was comparable to that of fused silica fibers. The Brillouin threshold power of the 100 m POF was estimated to be as high as 24 W, which can be, for practical applications, reduced by using POFs with smaller cores. These properties were compared with those of silica-based graded-index multi-mode fibers. We also investigated the BFS dependences on strain and temperature. They showed negative dependences with coefficients of −121.8 MHz/% and −4.09 MHz/K, respectively, which are −0.2 and −3.5 times as large as those in silica fibers. These BFS dependences indicate that the Brillouin scattering in PFGI-POFs can be potentially applied to high-accuracy temperature sensing with reduced strain sensitivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Optical Applications)

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