Optical microfabrication of highly reflective volume Bragg gratings

Hsiao, Vincent K. S.; Tzu-Chau Lin; He, Guang S.; Cartwright, Alexander N.; Prasad, Paras N.; Natarajan, Lalgudi V.; Tondiglia, Vincent P.; Bunning, Timothy J.
March 2005
Applied Physics Letters;3/28/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 13, p131113
Academic Journal
An approach for fabricating wide-bandwidth and highly reflective Bragg grating structures with the technique of holographic photopolymerization of a liquid crystal (LC) polymer composite is presented. The key to this fabrication method that distinguishes it from previous methods is the use of a nonreactive solvent, acetone, to dissolve the photoinitiator and coinitiator in an acrylate monomer/LC mixture. The addition of acetone results in the creation of controllable periodic voids inside the thin film after the acetone evaporates. Peak reflectivity as high as 80% and a broad reflection bandwidth of 80 nm were observed in the reflection gratings formed with acetone present in the starting mixture. It was estimated from a fit to the experimental data that the resulting index mismatch was approximately 0.2; consistent with the presence of air voids. It is determined that tunable wavelength, diffraction efficiency, and bandwidth of reflection notches can be achieved by backfilling with fluids of different refractive indices.


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