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Real-time holography - Photorefractive Polymers

Real-time holography has numerous applications in optical processing, storage, and imaging. In these technologies, the recording medium in which thick phases holograms are recorded and retrieved optically in a highly parallel way, plays a central role.

Photorefractive polymers constitute a class of real-time holographic recording materials that can be processed into films and objects of various shapes using various low-cost processing techniques.

Our research in this area is focusing on the following areas:
- develop faster materials with recording times shorter than 1 ms.
- extend the sensitivity to the infra-red and telecommunication wavelengths
- improve the stability under continuous recording conditions
- develop new non-destructive testing schemes

Past accomplishments in this area include, the first demonstration of overmodulation of the diffraction efficiency in a photorefractive polymer, the development of a frequency-dependent ellipsometric technique to measure the orientational and Pockels contribution to the refractive index modulation, the first demonstration of photorefractive polymer-dispersed liquid crystals, the demonstration of the fabrication of photorefractive polymers by injection molding, the first demonstration of non-destructive read-out using two-photon absorption, and the demonstration of stable operation by proper tuning of the relative energies of the molecular orbitals of the chromophore and matrix.

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