Continuously Color-Tunable Rubber Laser


  • The authors acknowledge financial support by FWF Vienna through the “Spezialforschungsbereich Elektroaktive Stoffe” (projects F917 and F921). Holographic patterning was carried out in cooperation with K. F. Iskra (Institute of Experimental Physics, TU Graz, Austria). The authors are grateful to C. Slugovc (Institute for Chemistry and Technology of Organic Materials, TU Graz, Austria) for performing the NMR analysis and to G. Jakopic (Insitute for Nanostructured Materials and Photonics, Joanneum Research, Weiz, Austria) for ellipsometric measurements.


A photopatternable elastomer [poly(butadiene-co-(4-vinylbenzyl thiocyanate)] bearing UV-sensitive thiocyanate (–SCN) groups, which isomerize to isothiocyanate (–NCS) units upon irradiation with UV light, is reported. This isomerization changes the refractive index of the elastomer, enabling the production of refractive index and relief distributed feedback (DFB) gratings using interference lithography. Blending a laser dye into the elastomer creates an optically pumped laser, which, when strained, allows continuous and reversible tuning of the laser emission wavelength.