Waveguides and gratings fabrication in zirconium-based organic/inorganic hybrids
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Sol–gel derived poly(oxyethylene)/siloxane organic/inorganic di-ureasil hybrids containing different amounts of methacrylic acid (McOH, CH2=C(CH3)COOH)) modified zirconium oxo-clusters (Zr-OMc) were processed as thin films deposited in glassy substrates via spin coating and as transparent and shape controlled monoliths. Channel monomode waveguides and diffraction gratings were UV patterned using the Talbot interferometer and the Lloyd mirror interferometer experimental setups. The time dependence of the diffraction gratings efficiency was studied for hybrids containing different amounts of Zr-OMc. Finally, the number of propagating modes and the refractive index gradient within the waveguide region, determined as a Gaussian section located below the patterned channel, was evaluated and modeled, a maximum index contrast of 2.43 × 10−5 being estimated.