The performance of photorefractive (PR) polymers strongly depends on the incorporated nonlinear-optical chromophores. We compare three polysiloxane-based PR guest–host polymers with an azo, a stilbene, and a tolane type of chromophore. Characteristic properties such as diffraction efficiency η, gain coefficient Γ, phase shift φ, modulation of the index of refraction Δn, and response time are measured as a function of the external electric field. Orientational enhancement as well as the influence of photoisomerization is observed and analyzed quantitatively. The materials show high performance with Δn>1×10<sup>−2</sup>, corresponding to external diffraction efficiencies of 60% for samples of only 40-μm thickness.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
S. Schloter, U. Hofmann, P. Strohriegl, H.-W. Schmidt, and D. Haarer, "High-performance polysiloxane-based photorefractive polymers with nonlinear optical azo, stilbene, and tolane chromophores," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 15, 2473-2475 (1998)