Molecular and nanoscale engineering for enhanced order in organic electro-optic materials
Intermolecular interactions play a critical role in organic electro-optic materials. Through careful molecular design and optimization, we explore the effect of these interactions on molecular properties, nanoscale acentric order, and ultimately macroscopic electro-optic activity. Discotic chromophores, designed to reduce centrosymmetric dipole-dipole interactions, incorporating a variety of functionalities exhibit a range of morphologies, including amorphous, crystalline, and liquid-crystalline phases. We present the characterization of these systems and the effect of the nanoscale order on their macroscopic properties, including electro-optic activity. Covalent attachment of zwitterionic and neutral ground state electro-optic chromophores provides a method to explore the effect of intermolecular interactions and dielectric environment on molecular properties such as dipole moment and hyperpolarizability. We also present our initial results on the characterization of the dielectric constants of organic electrooptic materials, and their effect on microscopic and macroscopic properties of the material.
- Chemistry