UV/Vis Visible Optical Waveguides Fabricated Using Organic–Inorganic Nanocomposite Layers
Nanocomposite layers based on silica nanoparticles and a methacrylate matrix are synthesized by a solvent-free process and characterized in order to realize UV/Vis transparent optical waveguides. Chemical functionalization of the silica nanoparticles permits to interface the polymers and the silica. The refractive index, roughness and wettability and the machinability of the layers can be tuned changing the silica nanoparticle concentration and chemical modification of the surface of the nanoparticles. The optical transparency of the layers is affected by the nanoparticles organization between the organic chains, while it increased proportionally with respect to silica concentration. Nanocomposite layers with a concentration of 40 wt% in silica reached UV transparency for a wavelength of 250 nm. UV/Vis transparent waveguides were micromilled through nanocomposite layers and characterized. Propagation losses were measured to be around 1 dB cm−1 at a wavelength of 350 nm.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2011-03-01
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