17-Mar-2009 - Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

Linking up with Huisgen

French scientists show that cross-linking electro-optic polymers enhances stability

Fabrice Odobel, Laurent Fontaine, Vincent Rodriguez and co-workers from Nantes University, University of Maine and the University of Bordeaux respectfully, have successfully used Huisgen chemistry to create a new cross-linked system which enhances the stability of electro-optic polymers. This system not only has the advantages of increasing the thermal alignment stability of the non-linear optical chromophores within the polymer, but also allows for their synthesis on a gram-scale.

Electro-optic systems are able to transfer stored information into a light beam for information processing, such as in telecommunications which are currently made of inorganic materials. Replacing them with organic materials is a promising alternative because ‘they offer superior performances for potentially much lower cost,’ says Odobel. ‘Indeed, the instability of the response of electro-optic organic polymers is currently the main issue which prevents their industrial manufacture,’ he explains.

‘There is a real need for high speed and broad bandwidth data processing systems (for internet, cellular phones and Wifi),’ says Odobel. ‘If we can prepare cheap and highly efficient electro-optic modulators, the applications are obvious for all technologies which require information processing.’

‘The next step will be to apply this new cross-linking strategy to highly efficient electro-optic chromophores,’ says Odobel. ‘Preliminary works indicate that the potential of this new cross-linking strategy in electro-optics is high.’

Original article: Annabelle Scarpaci et. al.; "A new crosslinkable system based on thermal Huisgen reaction to enhance the stability of electro-optic polymers"; Chem. Commun. 2009

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