Abstract

The photorefractivity of an indole derivative and of its polymer blends has been studied at room temperature. The indole derivative 3-[2-(4-nitrophenyl)ethenyl]-1-(2-ethylhexyl)-2-methylindole (NPEMI-E) is a typical low-molecular-weight glass-forming molecule having peculiar nonlinear optics characteristics. It is unconditionally soluble in the photoconductive poly-(N-vinyl-2,3-dimethylindole) so that all the possible blends can be studied for a weight percent (wt. %) content of NPEMI-E ranging from zero to 100. A very high and sharp maximum of the photorefractive optical gain Γ22000cm1 was obtained for a NPEMI-E wt. % content of about 90. On the basis of recently published theoretical calculations, we have made the hypothesis that the rapid change of Γ2 can also be ascribed to a correspondingly quick variation of the molecular electro-optic parameters of the dissolved chromophore for some well distinguished values of its concentration in the polymer matrix. Differential scanning calorimetry measurements were made and the results carefully analyzed with the aim of obtaining information on the intermolecular interactions. These last measurements also allowed rationalizing the unconditionally stable glass appearance of the obtained blends. Measurements of spectroscopic ellipsometry were also made on blends with different NPEMI-E content.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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