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The Interplay of Processing-Related Influences on the Formation of Volume Holographic Gratings in a Free-Surface Epoxy-Based Recording Material

Sabel-Grau, Tina

Understanding the formation processes of holographic gratings in polymers as a function of material composition and processing is important for the development of new materials for holography and its associated applications. Among the processing-related factors that affect grating formation in volume holographic recording material, pre-exposure, prebaking and dark storage, as well as the associated variations in layer thickness and composition, are usually underestimated. This study highlights the influence and interaction of these factors and shows that they should not be neglected. This is of particular importance for samples with a free surface. Here, one such epoxy-based free-surface material is investigated. To determine the influence of prebaking on the holographic grating formation, as well as on the achieved refractive index contrast, angular resolved analysis of volume holographic phase gratings is applied through point-by-point scanning of the local material response. Grating characteristics are determined by comparison with simulations based on rigorous coupled wave theory. Thus, the optimal dose for prebaking can be determined, as well as the optimal exposure time, depending on the dose. The influence of dark storage on the material response is investigated over a period of 12 weeks and shows a strong dependence on the deposited energy density.
Published in: Macromol, 10.3390/macromol3020013, MDPI