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Design and Integration of Fluoropolymers for Photonics

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Perfluorocyclobutyl (PFCB) polymers exhibit a superior combination of optical and structural properties including: low transmission loss, unprecedented melt and solution or solvent-less processability, high tailorable refractive index and thermoptic coefficients compared to conventional fluoropolymers. Our strategy (Scheme 1) has focused on the thermal cyclopolymerization of trifunctional and bifunctional aryl trifluorovinyl ether monomers to PFCB copolymers.1 PFCB polymers can be microfabricated via standard methods and or by soft lithography techniques.2 The properties of variable PFCB copolymers including thermal properties (Tg = 120-350 °C), optical loss (< 0.2 db/cm at 1550 nm), refractive index tailorability (1.449-1.58 at 1550 nm), low birefringence, and optical stability present PFCB polymers as a unique and versatile technology for integrated optics.1(a) Single air interface bends (SAIB) with 95% bend efficiencies have been established.2 Electro-optic chromophores with high hyperpolarizability have been synthesized for incorporation into PFCB polymer networks.3 Towards use in active optical applications, our investigation in PFCB polymers include; (i) generation of a PFCB network covalently linked to hexa-peri-hexabenzocoronene moieties, which can emit light over a broad range of wavelengths.1(b) (ii) development of semi-conjugated light emitting polymers with PFCB linkage (iii) studies on new PFCB/lanthanides composites and (iv) preparation of processable liquid crystalline PFCB polymers with oligophenylene block in the backbone. An overview of fluoropolymer optics and PFCB synthesis, fabrication, properties, and commercial opportunities will be presented.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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