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14 January 1993 Novel method for the preparation of polymethacrylates with nonlinear optically active side groups
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Because of their excellent optical properties, a variety of polymethacrylates with pendant NLO-chromophores has been prepared and investigated by different research groups. The method normally used for the synthesis of these polymers is the free radical polymerization of the corresponding methacrylates with NLO-active side groups. However, the NLO- chromophores, usually large conjugated molecules with an electron donor and an electron acceptor substituent, often contain a number of functional groups, e.g., nitro- or azo groups. These may act as retarders or inhibitors in a free radical polymerization. So in many cases the yields are not quantitative and the molecular weights are quite low. We present an alternative method for the preparation of polymethacrylates with pendant NLO-chromophores, the polymeranalogous esterification of poly(methacryloyl chloride). In a first step, reactive prepolymers are prepared by the free radical polymerization of methacryloyl chloride (MAC1) or by copolymerization of MAC1 with methyl methacrylate (MMA). These prepolymers are esterified using NLO-active side groups with a hydroxy-terminated spacer. Well defined, high molecular weight polymethacrylates with high dye contents can be prepared by this method. A copolymer with 19 mole% of azochromophores exhibits an electro-optical coefficient of 9 pm/V at 1300 mm after poling, whereas 19 pm/V (1500 nm) were measured for a polymer with 90 mole% of NLO active azobenzene side groups. In addition, the novel method provides easy access to some novel copolymers with both NLO-active azobenzene units and photocrosslinkable cinnamoyl groups.
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Peter Strohriegl, Harry Mueller, and Oskar Nuyken "Novel method for the preparation of polymethacrylates with nonlinear optically active side groups", Proc. SPIE 1774, Nonconducting Photopolymers and Applications, (14 January 1993);

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