Novel Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal Polymers for Electro-optic Device Applications

Period of Performance: 05/01/1998 - 05/01/2000

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Tacan Corp.
2330 Faraday Ave
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

Based on the highly successful feasibility demonstration of the synthesis and characterization of nonlinear optical ferroelectric liquid crystal polymer systems in Phase I, TACAN proposes an enhanced, scaled-up materials development and optimization, a full scale characterization, and a device application development of the materials with improved characteristics. The objective of this work is to optimize the properties of novel crosslinkable, high polar order, high chromophore density, thermally robust ferroelectric liquid crystalline polymers for electro-optic device applications. The Phase II work will incorporate high molecular hyperpolarizability chromophores into the polymer matrix, so that all three factors of a second order nonlinear material, the number density, the molecular hyperpolarizability , and the polar order of the chromophores will be optimized. TACAN and its collaborator at the University of Dayton Research Institute propose to synthesis four new liquid crystalline materials that incorporate chromophores with molecular hyperpolarizabilities orders of magnitude higher than that used in Phase I research. A detailed materials characterization and device application will be carried out for future commercialization. A successful materials optimization will provide orders of magnitude increase in nonlinearity for Phase II materials. All the polymer system will incorporate crosslinking sites for material hardening and high thermal stability.