Photorefractive Polymers and Composites

Authors

  • Dr. Yue Zhang,

    1. Laser Photonics Technology, Inc. 1576 Sweet Home Road, Amherst, NY 14228 (USA)
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    • Yue Zhang received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from Peking University and Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), respectively. He then studied physical chemistry at the State University of New York at Buffalo and obtained his Ph.D. in 1992, before joining Laser Photonics Technology, Inc. He is currently a research scientist at ROI Technology, Monmouth Junction, New Jersey. His research interests include electro-optic materials and devices, light-emitting diodes and materials, and photorefractive materials and their applications. He is a member of OSA and ACS.

  • Dr. Ryszard Burzynski,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laser Photonics Technology, Inc. 1576 Sweet Home Road, Amherst, NY 14228 (USA)
    • Laser Photonics Technology. Inc. 1576 Sweet Home Road, Amherst, NY 14228 (USA)
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    • Ryszard Burzynski, a member of SPIE, OSA and ACS, received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in organic physical chemistry from the Technical University of Wroclaw, Poland. He worked for several years as a postdoctoral fellow and an instructor at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Since 1990 he has been a technical director at Laser Photonics Technology, Inc. His major interests are in the area of sol–gel processing and fabrication of optical and nonlinear optical (NLO) composite materials, photorefractive polymers, polymeric light-emitting devices and optical sensors. He is author and coauthor of more than 50 scientific papers.

  • Dr. Saswati Ghosal,

    1. Laser Photonics Technology, Inc. 1576 Sweet Home Road, Amherst, NY 14228 (USA)
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    • Saswati Ghosal, a member of ACS, is currently a Research Chemist at Laser Photonics Technology, Inc. She completed her B.Sc. and M.Sc. at Kalyani University, West Bengal, India. She performed her graduate work on synthetic organic chemistry at University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, completing the M.S. in 1987 and the Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1992. Her present research interests include the synthesis and processing of various nonlinear optical materials, polymeric light-emitting diodes, photorefractive materials and sol–gel processing.

  • Dr. Martin K. Casstevens

    1. Laser Photonics Technology, Inc. 1576 Sweet Home Road, Amherst, NY 14228 (USA)
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    • Martin K. Casstevens received a B.A. degree at Hamilton College in 1980 and is currently completing his Ph.D. in biophysical sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has worked as a scientist at Laser Photonics Technology for the last five years and, for the last three years, served as the company's Business Manager. His research interests include sol–gel processed materials, fiber-optic chemical detection, photorefractive materials, surface chemistry, and opto-electronic properties of ordered organic materials.


  • The authors wish to thank Prof. P. N. Prasad of SUNY/Buffalo for the encouragement and fruitful discussions during the preparation of this manuscript. LPT's photorefractive polymer research was financially supported by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research through contract numbers F49620-92-C-0046 and F49620-92-C-0061, Advanced Research Projects Agency through contract number DAAHO1-92-C-R243 and the New York State Science and Technology Foundation through Contract No. SBI-94-057.

Abstract

Materials demonstrating a photorefractive effect are principal candidates for numerous applications, including high-density optical data storage, optical image processing, phase conjugated mirrors and lasers, dynamic holography, optical computing, pattern recognition, etc. Considerable progress has been made in the research on photorefractive polymers and composite materials in the last few years. These materials have many advantages over inorganic photorefractive crystals, including large optical nonlinearities, low dielectric constants, low cost and ease of fabrication. A large number of materials, including those exhibiting an extremely large photorefractive effect, have been developed. In addition, a number of interesting phenomena particular to polymeric photorefractive materials have been reported and corresponding mechanisms have been proposed to account for these phenomena. Possible applications of these materials have been explored with the demonstration of a volume holographic storage device based on photorefractive polymers. This paper reviews the latest developments of the young and exciting field of polymeric photorefractive materials.

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