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16 March 2015 Optical waveguides using PDMS-metal oxide hybrid nanocomposites
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Development of passive and active polymer based optical materials for high data rate waveguide routing and interconnects has gained increased attention because of their excellent properties such as low absorption, cost savings, and ease in fabrication. However, optical polymers are typically limited in the range of their refraction indices. Combining polymeric and inorganic optical materials provides advantages for as development of nano-composites with higher refractive indices with the possibility of being used as an active optical component. In this paper a new composite material is proposed based on polymer-metal oxide nano-composites for use as optical wave guiding structures and components. PDMS (Polydimethylsiloxane) is utilized for the polymer portion while the inorganic material is titanium dioxide. Refraction indices as high as 1.74 have been reported using these composites. For PDMS-TiO2 hybrids, the higher the ratio of titanium dioxide to PDMS, the higher the resulting refractive index. The index of refraction as a function of the PDMS:TiO2 ratio is reported with an emphasis on use as optical waveguide devices. Absorption spectrum of the nano-composites is measured showing low absorption at 850 nm and high absorption in the UV regime for direct UV laser/light curing. Prototype multimode waveguides are fabricated using soft imprint embossing that is compatible with the low viscosity nano-composite material. Cross dimensional shape and profile show the potential for full scale development utilizing the material set.
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Arash Hosseinzadeh, Christopher T. Middlebrook, and Michael E. Mullins "Optical waveguides using PDMS-metal oxide hybrid nanocomposites", Proc. SPIE 9360, Organic Photonic Materials and Devices XVII, 93600P (16 March 2015);

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