Photopatternable di-ureasil-zirconium oxocluster organic-inorganic hybrids as cost effective integrated optical substrates


Organic-inorganic hybrids containing methacrylic acid (McOH, CH2 = C(CH3)COOH)) modified zirconium tetrapropoxide, Zr(OPrn)(4), classed as di-ureasil-zirconium oxo-cluster hybrids, have been prepared and structurally characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and Raman (FT-Raman) spectroscopies, Si and C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). XRD and SAXS results have pointed out the presence of Si- and Zr-based nanobuilding blocks (NBBs) dispersed into the organic phase. Inter-NBBs correlation distances have been estimated for the pure di-ureasil and a model compound obtained. by hydrolysis/condensation of Zr(OPrn)(4):McOH (molar ratio 1: 1): d(Si) approximate to 26 +/- 1 angstrom and d(Zr) approximate to 16 +/- 1 angstrom, respectively. In the case of the di-ureasil-zirconium oxo-cluster hybrids, these distances depend on the Zr relative molar percentage (rel. mol. Zr %) (d(Si) ranges from 18 to 25 angstrom and d(Zr) from 14 to 23 angstrom, as the rel. mol. Zr % increases from 5 to 75), suggesting that the Si- and Zr-based clusters are interconstrained. Complementary data from FT-IR, FT-Raman, Si-29 and C-13 NMR, and AFM support to a structural model where McOH-modified Zr-based NBBs (Zr-OMc) are present over the whole range of composition. At low Zr-OMc contents (rel. mol. Zr % <30) the clusters are well-dispersed within the di-ureasil host, whereas segregation occurs at the 0.1 mu m scale at high Zr-OMc concentration (rel. mol. Zr % = 50). No Zr-O-Si heterocondensation has been discerned. Monomode waveguides, diffractions gratings, and Fabry-Perot cavities have been written through the exposure of the hybrid monoliths to UV light. FT-Raman has shown that the chemical process that takes place under illumination is the polymerization of the methacrylate groups of the Zr-OMc NBBs. The guidance region in patterned channels is a Gaussian section located below the exposed surface with typical dimensions of 320 mu m wide and 88 mu m deep. The effective refractive index is 1.5162 (maximum index contrast on the order of 1 x 10(-4)) and the reflection coeficient of the Fabry-Perot cavity (formed by a grating patterned into a 0.278 cm channel) is 0.042 with a free spectral range value of 35.6 GHz.




Chemistry; Materials Science


Oliveira, DC; Macedo, AG; Silva, NJO; Molina, C; Ferreira, RAS; Andre, PS; Dahmouche, K; Bermudez, VD; Messaddeq, Y; Ribeiro, SJL; Carlos, LD

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