Nick Lyons PhD Dissertation Defense "Applications of Novel Optical Polymers"

    Friday, May 7, 2021 - 11:00am

    Join Zoom Meeting Password: polymers


    Optical polymers present rich opportunities for innovation due to their cost-effectiveness and  processability.  In this presentation, an overview of optical polymers used in three distinct applications will be provided.  First, the use of moldable silicone will be analyzed as a critical component in a novel two-stage solar concentrator for electricity generation.  The excellent moldability of the polymer provides the capability of mass production of the primary focusing optic as well as free-form waveguides needed for such a system, resulting in a significant decrease in cost when compared to glass.  Next, low-cost alternatives to commercial Faraday rotation materials, which are generally limited to difficult to handle and expensive crystals, are presented.  These unique materials consist of magneto-optical nanoparticles in a polymer host, and present a lower cost alternative with ultra-high, tunable Verdet constants with applications in optical isolators, optical circulators, and active magneto-optic devices.  Finally, the utilization of two distinct, newly developed sulfur-based polymers as media for infrared optics is explored.  The performance of near infrared antireflection coatings and Bragg mirrors is demonstrated for one high refractive index polymer (poly (S-r-DIB)), and functional Fresnel lenses and microlens arrays for the long wave infrared region are shown with the other(poly (S-r­-NBD2).