Photoinduced refractive index change and absorption bleaching in poly(methylphenylsilane) under varied ambients

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Polysilane materials exhibit large photo-induced refractive index changes under low incident optical fluences, making them attractive candidates for applications in which rapid patterning of photonic device structures is desired immediately prior to their use. This agile fabrication strategy for integrated photonics inherently requires that optical exposure, and associated material response, occurs in nonlaboratory environments, motivating the study of environmental conditions on the photoinduced response of the material. The present work examines the impact of atmosphere on the photosensitive response of poly(methylphenylsilane) (PMPS) thin films in terms of both photoinduced absorption change and refractive index modification. Material was subjected to UV light exposure resonant with the lowest energy optical transition associated with the conjugated Si-Si backbone. Exposures were performed in both aerobic and anaerobic atmospheres (oxygen, air, nitrogen, and 5% H2/95% N 2). The results clearly demonstrate that the photosensitive response of this model polysilane material was dramatically affected by local environment, exhibiting a photoinduced refractive index change, when exposed under an oxygen containing atmosphere, that was twice that observed under anaerobic conditions. This effect is discussed in terms of photo-oxidation 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)105-109
Number of pages5
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of Glasses: European Journal of Glass Science and Technology Part B
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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