Abstract

We present measurements of thermal and optical properties of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), PMMA modified by the addition of ethanol (MPMMA), and copolymers of methyl methacrylate with 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate [P(HEMA:MMA)]. Spectral transmission of the polymers is excellent (α = 0.5 cm-1 at 400 nm, decreasing to 0.04 cm-1 at 633 nm). Measured laser damage thresholds of MPMMA and P(HEMA:MMA) show at least a twofold increase over PMMA. Thermal lensing measured in these hosts doped with Rhodamine 6G is shown to be similar (f = -450 mm for pump power of 200 mW in a 2-mm-diameter spot, scaling with pump intensity). Compared with MPMMA, P(HEMA:MMA) offers an improved surface quality and a more uniform dye distribution.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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