Abstract

The performance of photorefractive (PR) polymers strongly depends on the incorporated nonlinear-optical chromophores. We compare three polysiloxane-based PR guest–host polymers with an azo, a stilbene, and a tolane type of chromophore. Characteristic properties such as diffraction efficiency η, gain coefficient Γ, phase shift ϕ, modulation of the index of refraction Δn, and response time are measured as a function of the external electric field. Orientational enhancement as well as the influence of photoisomerization is observed and analyzed quantitatively. The materials show high performance with Δn>1×10-2, corresponding to external diffraction efficiencies of 60% for samples of only 40-μm thickness.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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