This project proposes a novel complementary approach using a unique combination of optical effects found in luminescent polymers. From the recent polymer electroluminescence development we know that classes of high efficiency fluorescent polymers exist with emission colours chemically tuneable throughout the visible and near UV/ IR range. From all-optical switching experiments we know that the preferred nonlinear optical response of such polymers is excitation via multi- photon absorption. In wave guides, this absorption can be a highly effective process due to intensity enhancement in the guided wave structure. Initial tests reveal that the combination of these two processes can lead to an efficient conversion of infrared light into short wavelength visible radiation, only limited by the luminescence yield which can be up to 50%. It is the ultimate aim of this project to employ this novel frequency conversion concept to obtain an efficient, low-cost solid-state diode laser pumped blue/ violet laser source.
After a first project phase aimed at convincingly demonstrating the commercial feasibility of this new concept, we intend to develop such a laser source in collaboration with a major European photonic device manufacturer and a major materials supply company In this manner, we aim, over 36 months, to achieve a significant advance towards an internationally competitive and innovative solid- state laser source and its downstream exploitation by European industry.
Cost and energy efficient generation of blue and violet laser light from microelectronic solid-state devices is an important technological aim with numerous applications in information technology. Despite many man years of effort, traditional semiconductor and/or nonlinear optical devices are still nowhere near commercial feasibility and mass production.
The project brings together some of the leading European laboratories in polymer photonics with complementary expertise in nonlinear optical process and material development, polymer luminescence and wave guide device fabrication and applications.