Abstract

A cw, visible laser beam self-traps by initiating free-radical polymerization in an organosiloxane photopolymer doped with a well-characterized distribution of Ag nanoparticles. The self-trapped beam propagates over long distances (Rayleigh range) without diverging and permanently inscribes a cylindrical metallodielectric waveguide containing a dispersion of Ag nanoparticles. The self-trapped beam evolves from single-mode to multimode guidance over time; the effects of nanoparticle concentration on multimode dynamics were investigated. These findings open room temperature, soft polymer-based pathways where self-action effects including self-trapping and modulation instability can be exploited to spontaneously generate three-dimensional metallodielectric single or multiple cylindrical waveguides.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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