A new method is presented to generate and to fixate compositional gradients in blends of two miscible and amorphous polymers. A compositional gradient is introduced into a solution of a polymer in a monomer by use of a centrifugal field, and this gradient is subsequently fixated by polymerization of the solvent–monomer. It is shown that substantial compositional and refractive-index gradients can be generated in miscible, highly transparent, amorphous polymer blends by a proper selection of materials and processing conditions. Moreover, it is shown that these materials and processes are potentially useful for producing optical components such as self-focusing lenses.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 11, 1998
Revised Manuscript: September 9, 1998
Published: February 20, 1999
Frank G. H. van Duijnhoven and Cees W. M. Bastiaansen, "Monomers and polymers in a centrifugal field: a new method to produce refractive-index gradients in polymers," Appl. Opt. 38, 1008-1014 (1999)