Development of Polymers for Optoelectronic Applications

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: School of Chemistry


Gas sensing plays a key role in enabling many different technologies used to monitor the emissions from different sources. Photonic gas sensors exhibit unique advantages of building a CMOS-compatible, cost-effective, and portable sensing system fully integrated on a single chip. In order to transmit data efficiently between sensors, so far electrically driven modulation relies on un-efficient refractive index change resulting from the modulation of carrier density in silicon either by carrier depletion, injection or accumulation. In nonlinear optical (NLO) polymers however, the electro-optic (EO) effect originates from the electronic hyperpolarisability of the organic molecules, which allows extremely high modulation speeds. Furthermore, molecular engineering of organic molecules can lead to extremely high Pockels-coefficients in polymers exceeding 10 times the value available in the lithium-niobate, the industrial standard inorganic material used in optical data transmission application. Photonic devices based on a hybrid material system merging silicon and polymer are therefore attractive since they combine the strong light confining abilities of silicon with the superior NLO properties of polymers, thereby enabling extremely fast modulation, ultra-low driving power and small geometric footprint that will enable the generation of optical transceivers and data transfer between remote sensing platforms.
The PhD consists in the synthesis and development of the monomers required for EO and the preparation of the polymers that will be tested in several Photonic Device


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509747/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1990668 Studentship EP/N509747/1 28/09/2017 30/09/2020 Matthew Jenner