Abstract

Volume relaxation in polymers and the effect intrinsic to glassy polymers can significantly affect their refractive index over time. Its β rate has been found to be related only to relaxation temperature T and the glass transition temperature of the polymer T g and not to the polymeric chemical structure. Universal values of β have been obtained for polymers and were used to predict the minimum index change related to volume in polymers. The index change is in the range from 7.86 × 10-5 to 5.26 × 10-4 when the T g - T value of polymers is between 90 and 350 °C. These volume-relaxation-induced changes can cause serious deterioration or even failure in corresponding polymer waveguide devices, such as arrayed waveguide gratings and variable optical attenuators, when the T g of a polymer is not sufficiently high. A minimum requirement is therefore suggested for the T g of polymers used to fabricate waveguide devices.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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