Epoxy based material incorporating 4-(4'-nitrophenylazo) phenylamine has been synthesized and subsequently functionalized with cinnamoyl groups. These materials can be easily solution-processed into thin films by spin-coating. The uncrosslinked polymer has excellent thermal and linear optical properties. Glass transition temperature of 115°C and degradation temperature (air) of 278°C were recorded.
This material exhibits large second order nonlinear optical (NLO) effects subsequent to poling. In a poled film sample, second harmonic generation coefficient, d33, of 34 pm/V was observed at 1.06 μm. Crosslinking is brought about by exposure to UV radiation at 254 nm wavelength. In a poled and crosslinked film sample, a d33 of 22 pm/V was observed. This d33 value is less than the d33 value of the poled and uncrosslinked film sample due to photo-induced cis-trans isomerization and partial degradation of the NLO chromophores. Nevertheless, the poled and crosslinked film shows a much more stable second order response at ambient conditions compared to the poled film which has not been crosslinked.