Optical Properties of Hybrid Materials

Y.Q. Rao
The Dow Chemical Company, US

Keywords: optical properties, nanocomposite, molecular composite


Optical properties of materials are very important for many applications. One example is optical computing where photons replace electrons so that the computation speed can be further improved. In construction of optical computing devices, polymers are good candidates because of their ease of processing. However, it is known that the optical properties of polymers are limited. On method of expanding the optical properties of polymers is through the construction of hybrid materials where materials of better optical functionalities are incorporated into polymers to allow the realization of new optical properties that are not achievable using polymers alone. Another method is to explore easy processing of inorganic materials. One such example is sol-gel chemistry. In this paper, the governing principles of the optical properties of different types of hybrid polymers are explored. These hybrid polymers include nanoparticle containing polymers where the nanoparticles are transparent to light, polymer/inorganic in-situ molecular composites, and organic moiety containing inorganic materials. These understandings shed light on new design rules of novel optical materials.