Polarization holographic device using photoreactive polymer liquid crystals

October 18, 2005

For many years, researchers have looked to develop organic materials as a reliable and cost effective replacement for inorganic materials in optical devices. The development of highly functionalized optical devices using photonics instead of optoelectronics has highlighted the need for greater control over the manipulation of optical signals.

Photo-control of molecular orientation of polymer materials is of great interest for the development of highly functionalized holographic optical devices.

In this study published in AZojomo*, by Hiroshi Ono and Nobuhiro Kawatsuki from Nagaoka University of Technology and University of Hyogo, optical phase gratings were fabricated from photo-crosslinkable polymer liquid crystals with mesogenic 4-(4-methoxycinnamoyloxy)biphenyl side groups by irradiating with 325 nm interference lights and subsequent annealing at elevated temperatures. Recorded phase gratings were verified after the annealing process, although no gratings were observed immediately after the exposure. The characteristics of the phase gratings were strongly dependent on the polarization states of the two recording beams, and the resultant gratings involve not only linear birefringence caused by the reorientation of the mesogenic groups but also surface relief modulation generated by the molecular migration.

Diffraction measurement and AFM observation revealed that the intensity holographic gratings involve both linear birefringence and surface relief, while the pure polarization gratings without surface topological relief were formed for the polarization holographic recordings.

It is anticipated that these unique phenomena of the material and phase grating can be applicable to various kinds of optical devices.
-end-
The article is available to view at http://www.azom.com/Details.asp?ArticleID=3076.

*AZojomo publishes high quality articles and papers on all aspects of materials science and related technologies. All the contributions are reviewed by a world class panel of editors who are experts in a wide spectrum of materials science. [See http://www.azom.com/Journal%20Editorial%20Board.asp]

AZojomo is based on the patented OARS (Open Access Rewards System) publishing protocol. The OARS protocol represents a unique development in the field of scientific publishing - the distribution of online scientific journal revenue between the authors, peer reviewers and site operators with no publication charges, just totally free to access high quality, peer reviewed materials science. [See http://www.azom.com/azojomo.asp and http://www.azom.com/oars.asp]

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