Theodore Davidson
Institute of Materials Science
University of Connecticut

"Photonics," as written in a recent article, "is the technology in which a photon instead of an electron is used to acquire, store, process, and transmit information." Important photonic effects, such as non-linear optical (NLO) response, need materials that simultaneously have the required molecular structure, afford a non-centrosymmetric environment, and are processible as films or coatings. The synthetic flexibility for "optical materials engineering" can come from organic materials and some novel composites. Early studies demonstrated that molecules with extended p-electronic conjugation gave favorable responses. Recent systematic variations on the structure of benzothiazole and N-phenyl- benzimidazole have shown that sulfur substitution and increased aromaticity enhance third-order NLO effects.

P.N. Prasad, B.A. Reinhardt, "Is there a role for organic materials chemistry in nonlinear optics and photonics?" Chemistry of Materials, 2, 660-9, November/December 1990. (State University of New York, Buffalo; Wright Research and...

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