Photopolymer holographic recording material

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Abstract:

Photopolymers are promising materials for use in holography. They have many advantages, such as ease of preparation, and are capable of efficiencies of up to 100%. A disadvantage of these materials is their inability to record high spatial frequency gratings when compared to other materials such as dichromated gelatin and silver halide photographic emulsion.

Until recently, the drop off at high spatial frequencies of the material response was not predicted by any of the diffusion based models available. It has recently been proposed that this effect is due to polymer chains growing away from their initiation point and causing a smeared profile to be recorded. This is termed a non-local material response. Simple analytic expressions have been derived using this model and fits to experimental data have allowed values to be estimated for material parameters such as the diffusion coefficient of monomer, the ratio of polymerisation rate to diffusion rate and the distance that the polymer chains spread during holographic recording.

The model predicts that the spatial frequency response might be improved by decreasing the mean polymer chain lengths and/or by increasing the mobility of the molecules used in the material. The experimental work carried out to investigate these predictions is reported here. This work involved (a) the changing of the molecular weights of chemical components within the material (dyes and binders) and (b) the addition of a chemical retarder in order to shorten the polymer chains, thereby decreasing the extent of the non-local effect. Although no significant improvement in spatial frequency response was observed the model appears to offer an improved understanding of the operation of the material.

Keywords: Holography; diffusion; holographic recording material; non-local response; photopolymer

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1078/0030-4026-00091

Affiliations: 1: School of Physics, Faculty of Science, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin St., Dublin 8, Republic of Ireland 2: Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Republic of Ireland

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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