research objectives are to fabricate optical devices, which exhibit important performance characteristics for frequency conversion, all-optical switching, and filtering. Polymer systems offer promising opportunities to demonstrate proof-of-concept of these devices.  The crux of this research lies in the chemistry of new materials designed by manipulating molecules at the nanoscale level.


  1. Design and synthesize ionic chromophores (dyes) to tailor the macroscopic second order optical nonlinearity by manipulating molecules at the molecular level.
  2. Design and synthesize dye-doped polymer systems that are naturally self-aligning (i.e., do not require poling) for demonstrating nonlinear optical processes in mechanically robust structures.
  3. Develop an Ionic Self-Assembled Monolayer (ISAM) procedure to fabricate planar waveguides using these material designs.
  4. Fabricate NLO waveguides by ionic self-assembly of bilayers and multilayers.
  5. Develop techniques to fabricate nanometer scale periodic structures needed for the all-optical switch and ultra-narrowband filter.
  6. Complete ongoing work in developing experiments for characterizing optical tensors of materials that potentially exhibit large birefringence, anisotropy in the loss, and significant nonlinearities.
  7. Demonstrate high efficiency frequency conversion by anomalous dispersion phase-matching (ADPM) in waveguides and by counterpropagating quasi-phase matching (c-QPM) in periodic structures.
  8. Demonstrate ultra-narrowband filtering in guided mode resonance (GMR) filters.
  9. Continue ongoing work in developing theory to model light propagation in waveguide and thin-film structures fabricated from these new materials exhibiting the noted properties in Objective 6.