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Switchable chromophores for nonlinear optics

Final Activity Report Summary - SWITCHABLE DYES (Switchable chromophores for nonlinear optics)

The project deals with the computer simulation of a certain class of dyes which are of interest for the development of fast all-optical switching techniques. The optical properties of the dyes are studied at a molecular level with the aid of modern theoretical methods based on quantum mechanics, the so-called density-functional methods, using modern supercomputers. Within the project, we have shown that the optical dye properties can be changed and controlled by laser light irradiation alone. This means that these dyes in principle allow for the manipulation (such as switching-on and off) of one laser light ray by another laser light ray.

We have also dealt with the question of how these optically active dye molecules can be transformed into materials with favourable properties such as mechanical and thermal stability, which is necessary for practical applications. The project thus provides basic research results which can aid the development of future telecommunication techniques which can carry much more information per time than presently possible.