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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C002059/1
Title: Feasibility study of refractive index modication of polymers using femtosecond laser irradiation
Principal Investigator: Scully, Dr P
Other Investigators:
Fielden, Professor PR Chalker, Professor PR Goddard, Professor N
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr DR Jones
Project Partners:
Unilever
Department: Chem Eng and Analytical Science
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 2004 Ends: 30 September 2005 Value (£): 60,270
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Processing Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications Electronics
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This feasibility study brings together two exciting trends in photonics; polymers and femtosecond laser processing. Femtosecond lasers enable refractive index modification to occur deep inside a polymer material due to multi-photon absorption at the beam focus, enabling 2 and 3 dimensional structures to be written with a resolution appraoching or less than the radiative wavelength. Polymers are rapidly forming the basis for a wide range of optical and optoelectronic components and have advantages over traditional glass and semiconductor materials. The ability to write required structures at the appropriate spatial resolution is the key objective. We propose to carry out a one year feasibility study of femtosecond laser processing of optical properties of clinical grade, ultra pure PMMA, and then study the effect of controlled doping. The proposed project will deepen our understanding of how the material properties of PMMA are modified by intense femtosecond laser pulses and characterize the technique. We plan to build on our track record in applying femtosecond lasers in material processing and in developing polymer optical waveguides and POF sensors. The project is multidisciplinary and combines expertise in optical waveguide/fibre instrumentation, polymer and analytical chemistry at UMIST with expertise in femtosecond laser micromachining at Liverpool University. Industrial funding is in the form of a PhD studentship is provided by Unilever Research & Development, Port Sunlight.
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk