Atmospheric effects on the photosensitive response of poly(methylphenylsilane) thin films

B. G. Potter, G. M. Jamison, H. Chandra, K. Simmons-Potter, W. J. Thomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Agile ready-when-needed patterning of refractive index structures in photosensitive materials requires an understanding of the impact of local application environment on mechanisms contributing to the desired photoinduced index change. The present work examines the impact of atmosphere on the photosensitive response of poly(methylphenylsilane) (PMPS) thin films whose high photoinduced index'change under low incident optical fluence make them attractive candidates for such applications. Changes in optical absorption and refractive index are investigated after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light resonant with the lowest energy transition exhibited by the Si-Si backbone structure in the material. A comparison between photoinduced absorption changes for thin films exposed in an air atmosphere versus those observed for samples subjected to a nitrogen environment during photoexposure is made for the first time. The study reveals that the anaerobic conditions of the nitrogen atmosphere significantly reduce the photosensitive response of the material to light. These results are discussed in terms of photooxidation processes within the polysilane structure and in the context of the need for predictable photosensitive refractive index change in varied photoimprinting environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-329
Number of pages4
JournalMaterials Letters
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Optical materials and processes
  • Photosensitivity
  • Polysilanes
  • Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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