Influencing the orientation of chromophores to increase the opticelectric effect

Introduction The electro-optic effect, important for optical communications and quantum optics, occurs in materials that alter their refractive index in the presence of an electrical field. One of the more important specific electro-optic effects is known as the Pockels effect. Materials exhibiting the Pockels effect show a change in the refractive index that is linearly proportional to the electric field. The alignment of dipolar chromophores enhances this effect. Traditional methods of performing this alignment require the application of electric fields at high temperatures. Technology description Researchers at the University of Washington have developed methods to align dipolar chromophores without the use of elevated temperatures. These new methods produce high electro-optic activities from modern chromophore systems. Business opportunity Materials that exhibit the electro-optic effect are very useful for a variety of applications including laser technology, communications, new lithography techniques, and non-linear optic technologies. Stage of development This method of enhancing the optic-electric effect has been successfully demonstrated in the laboratory and is being further developed. Intellectual property position The UW is currently reviewing this technology for worldwide patent protection.

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