Rare earth-doped polymer optical waveguide amplifiers

R. Gao, R. A. Norwood, C. C. Teng, A. F. Garito

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The optical properties and characteristics of rare earth-doped polymers have been studied to evaluate their viability for use in optical amplifiers. Rare earth ions are encapsulated in organic, covalently bonded chromophores. The optical properties of various rare earth chromophores doped into polymers are measured and calculated and are then used in numerical simulations of amplifiers and lasers. The results provide an estimate of their potential device performance and establish the fundamental bases for applications in photonics. Owing to their distinct advantages, such as chromophore energy transfer effects, high rare earth ion concentrations, shielding of the ion from high energy vibrations of the host, enhanced optical transition moments, and controllable decay rates and branching ratios, rare earth-doped polymers are found to be promising candidates for various device applications. Numerical simulations for samarium and europium doped polymers indicate that gains about 10 dB and greater are achievable in relatively short polymer optical fiber and waveguide amplifiers. Studies of the dependence of metastable state lifetime of rare earth doped polymer systems on doping concentration reveal that rare earth chromophore dissociation occurs at low concentrations. These results are used to optimize the parameters of our rare earth doped polymer optical waveguide amplifiers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-26
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2000
EventOrganic Photonic Materials and Devices II - San Jose, CA, USA
Duration: Jan 24 2000Jan 26 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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