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Open AccessArticle

Optical and Thermomechanical Properties of Doped Polyfunctional Acrylate Copolymers

1
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Applied Materials, Hermann-von Helmholtz-Platz 1, D-76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
2
Laboratory for Materials Processing, Institute for Microsystems Technology, Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Georges-Koehler-Allee 102, D-79110 Freiburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2018, 10(3), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10030337
Received: 9 February 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Optical Applications)
Three different polyfunctional acrylate monomers—trimethylolpropantriacrylate (TMPTA), pentaerythritol triacrylate (PETA) and di(trimethylolpropane) tetraacrylate (DTTA)—have been used as comonomers in combination with a reactive resin consisting of poly(methylmethacrylate), dissolved in its monomer methylmethacrylate. Phenanthrene has been added to form a guest–host system. The level of phenanthrene present may be adjusted to tailor the refractive index in the system. Prior to curing, the shear rate and temperature-dependent viscosity as a function of the composition were measured. It could be demonstrated that, with respect to different shaping methods, a tailor-made flow behaviour can be adjusted. After thermally-induced polymerization, the resulting optical (refractive index, optical transmittance) and thermomechanical (glass transition behavior, Vickers hardness) properties were characterized. A significant refractive index increase—up to a value close to 1.56 (@589 nm)—under the retention of good optical transmittance was able to be obtained. In addition, the photopolymerization behaviour was investigated to overcome the undesirable oxygen inhibition effect during the light-induced radical polymerization of acrylates. The level of acrylate units in the copolymer can compensate for the plasticizing effect of the dopant phenanthrene, enabling higher concentrations of the dopant in the guest–host system and therefore larger refractive index values suitable for polymer waveguide fabrication. View Full-Text
Keywords: refractive index tailoring; optical transmittance; polymer waveguides; photoinitiated curing; photopolymerization; UV-curing refractive index tailoring; optical transmittance; polymer waveguides; photoinitiated curing; photopolymerization; UV-curing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hanemann, T.; Honnef, K. Optical and Thermomechanical Properties of Doped Polyfunctional Acrylate Copolymers. Polymers 2018, 10, 337.

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