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High Dynamic Range (Δn) Two-Stage Photopolymers via Enhanced Solubility of a High Refractive Index Acrylate Writing Monomer
- Alim, Marvin D., Glugla, David J., Mavila, Sudheendran, Wang, Chen, Nystrom, Philip D., Sullivan, Amy C., McLeod, Robert R., Bowman, Christopher N.
- ACS applied materials & interfaces 2018 v.10 no.1 pp. 1217-1224
- color, polymerization, polymers, refractive index, solubility, urethane
- Holographic photopolymers capable of high refractive index modulation (Δn) on the order of 10–² are integral for the fabrication of functional holographic optical elements that are useful in a myriad of optical applications. In particular, to address the deficiency of suitable high refractive index writing monomers for use in two-stage holographic formulations, here we report a novel high refractive index writing monomer, 1,3-bis(phenylthio)-2-propyl acrylate (BPTPA), simultaneously possessing enhanced solubility in a low refractive index (n = 1.47) urethane matrix. When examined in comparison to a widely used high refractive index monomer, 2,4,6-tribromophenyl acrylate, BPTPA exhibited superior solubility in a stage 1 urethane matrix of approximately 50% with a 20% higher refractive index increase per unit amount of the writing monomer for stage 2 polymerizations. Formulations with 60 wt % loading of BPTPA exhibit a peak-to-mean holographic Δn ≈ 0.029 without obvious deficiencies in transparency, color, or scatter. To the best of our knowledge, this value is the highest reported in the peer-reviewed literature for a transmission hologram. The capabilities and versatility of BPTPA-based formulations are demonstrated at varying length scales via demonstrative refractive index gradient structure examples including direct laser write, projection mask lithography of a 1″ diameter Fresnel lens, and ∼100% diffraction efficiency volume transmission holograms with a 1 μm fringe spacing in 11 μm thick samples.