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Materials and Methods for Creating 3D GRIN Diffractive Optics in Photopolymers

Hosted By: Holography and Diffractive Optics Technical Group

26 May 2023 11:00 - 12:00

Eastern Time (US & Canada) (UTC - 05:00)

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Thick photopolymers that respond to optical exposure with a permanent refractive index change provide unique capabilities for Bragg holographic, diffractive, GRIN refractive and 3D GRIN waveguide applications. Unfortunately, there are limited commercial suppliers of the materials and none that will provide the custom packaging that is often needed for research. The goal of this webinar hosted by the Holography and Diffractive Optics Technical Group is to enable you to formulate, package and process these materials into custom optical elements that meet your needs.

Robert McLeod from the University of Colorado Boulder will describe a high-performance formulation with detailed instructions that can be followed by anyone with access to basic chemistry lab equipment. Dr. McLeod will then describe various optical exposure systems for creating an array of different custom optical elements. He will summarize the typical performance advantages and pitfalls of each application.

Finally, Dr. McLeod will introduce the basic processes by which these materials work to allow you to understand and modify them for your needs. The webinar will conclude with a review of the current state of the art (with references to give you starting points in the literature) and some of the open challenges for next-generation applications like AR waveguide couplers.

Subject Matter Level: Introductory - Assumes little previous knowledge of the topic

What You Will Learn:
• How to formulate GRIN or “holographic” polymers from commercial chemicals
• How to expose and post-process the materials for diffractive, refractive, or wave-guiding applications
• How to understand, model and modify material response to meet your needs

Who Should Attend:
• Optics researchers with minimal materials experience that need custom volume optics for their applications
• Materials researchers with minimal optics experience who need to understand photo-response and application requirements


About the Presenter: Robert R. McLeod from the University of Colorado Boulder

Dr. McLeod received his Ph.D. in EE in 1995 from CU Boulder, specializing in optical switching and computing. He has held research and management positions at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Siros Technologies and JDS Uniphase where he was a Director of Engineering. His research group specializes in the interaction of light and soft materials with applications to nano-lithography, 3D printing, computational imaging, regenerative medicine, integrated optics and high-performance optical elements. He is currently the Richard and Joy Dorf Endowed Professor of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and also a member of the of the Materials Science and Engineering Program at CU Boulder.


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